Dictionary

leitmotif

noun leit·mo·tif \ˈlīt-mō-ˌtēf\

Definition of LEITMOTIF

1
:  an associated melodic phrase or figure that accompanies the reappearance of an idea, person, or situation especially in a Wagnerian music drama
2
:  a dominant recurring theme

Variants of LEITMOTIF

leit·mo·tif also leit·mo·tiv \ˈlīt-mō-ˌtēf\
ADVERTISEMENT

Origin of LEITMOTIF

German Leitmotiv, from leiten to lead + Motiv motive
First Known Use: circa 1876

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: LeitneriaPrevious Word in the Dictionary: Leithner's blueAll Words Near: leitmotif
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears