ulterior motive (plural ulterior motives)
- An alternative or extrinsic reason for doing something, especially when concealed or when differing from the stated or apparent reason.
1895, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, chapter 9, in The Stark Munro Letters:
- There lurks no bribe in the smell and beauty of the flower. Its charm has no ulterior motive.
- 1941, "Poetry," Time, 8 Dec.,
- The poet is a man without a profit or any other kind of ulterior motive.
2006, Philip Sington, Zoia's Gold, Scribner, →ISBN, page 197:
- I have an ulterior motive, of course. I want a progress report on the catalog. You've been so mysterious about the whole thing, people are starting to talk.