noun \ˈthēm\

: the main subject that is being discussed or described in a piece of writing, a movie, etc.

: a particular subject or issue that is discussed often or repeatedly

: the particular subject or idea on which the style of something (such as a party or room) is based

Full Definition of THEME

a :  a subject or topic of discourse or of artistic representation <guilt and punishment is the theme of the story>
b :  a specific and distinctive quality, characteristic, or concern <the campaign has lacked a theme>
:  stem 4
:  a written exercise :  composition <a research theme>
:  a melodic subject of a musical composition or movement
themed \ˈthēmd\ adjective

Examples of THEME

  1. The quest for power is the underlying theme of the film.
  2. A constant theme in his novels is religion.
  3. The playwright skillfully brings together various themes.
  4. The album focuses on themes of love and loss.
  5. Adventures are popular themes in children's books.
  6. The growing deficit was a dominant theme in the election.
  7. The party had a Hawaiian luau theme.
  8. They played the theme from the movie Rocky.
  9. If one theme unites his scholarship it is that the Old South cannot be viewed as a monolith. —Eric Foner, New York Times Book Review, 8 Apr. 2007

Origin of THEME

Middle English teme, theme, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin thema, from Greek, literally, something laid down, from tithenai to place — more at do
First Known Use: 14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: theme and variations
Previous Word in the Dictionary: thematize
All Words Near: theme

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up theme? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).