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leitmotif

noun leit·mo·tif \ˈlīt-mō-ˌtēf\

Definition of leitmotif

  1. 1 :  an associated melodic phrase or figure that accompanies the reappearance of an idea, person, or situation especially in a Wagnerian music drama

  2. 2 :  a dominant recurring theme



Variants of leitmotif

also leit·mo·tiv play \ˈlīt-mō-ˌtēf\

Origin of leitmotif

German Leitmotiv, from leiten to lead + Motiv motive


First Known Use: circa 1876


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