Examples of motif in a Sentence
… a hip awareness of its own cheesy implausibility, right down to the music: The thunderously orchestrated score uses “Itsy Bitsy Spider” as a motif. —People, 29 July 2002
In retrospect, it is now clear that the alien invasion motif in 1950s science fiction movies reflected the Cold War atmosphere of the period. —Paul A. Cantor, Gilligan Unbound, 2001
The first-class scowl, shaved head and scars on his right shoulder and biceps fit the tough-guy motif, but it's a facade. —Ric Bucher, ESPN, 28 May 2001
The branding is done by combining a commercial trademark with one or another subcultural motif, a subculture the buyer belongs to or wants to join: surfing, skateboarding, … —John Seabrook, New Yorker, 20 Sept. 1999
The wallpaper has a flower motif.
the motif of mute figures standing in lonely isolation is a recurrent one in the artist's works
Recent Examples of motif from the Web
Till’s motifs swept though the ensemble, as horns, clarinets, bassoons, violin all had a chance to personate the character.
There were no familiar motifs and few conventional turns of phrase, Potter blurring lines that separate mainstream and avant-garde improvisation.
Instead, items for sale include Italian, French and English furniture, Persian carpets, paintings, Waterford crystal, and even a skull-motif china tea set.
U.S. intelligence officials were apparently concerned that Flynn didn't understand Kislyak's motives in meeting with him.
There is a quaint English village, a horrific murder, a quirky detective, no shortage of suspects and myriad motives.
Many of them feature elaborate flora, fauna and landscapes, her signature motif.
The show’s overarching motif is expressed through projects involving photographs, videos, fabric, skillfully etched glass, gate-like window structures and woodwork.
May 18] was fascinating and rightfully credited Chinese artists, craftsmen and others who contributed so much to its legendary motif.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'motif'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
MOTIF Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of motif for English Language Learners
: something (such as an important idea or subject) that is repeated throughout a book, story, etc.
: a single or repeated design or pattern
Medical Definition of motif
: a distinctive usually recurrent molecular sequence (as of amino acids or base pairs) or structural elements (as of secondary protein structures) These RNA molecules have an intriguing structural motif, absent in normal RNA, that recognizes an amino acid and chemically binds to it, forming a novel type of RNA enzyme, or ribozyme.—Jessa Netting, Science News, 7 Apr. 2001 Only about half these genes have recognizable motifs, or DNA-sequence patterns, that suggest possible functions.—Alan E. Guttmacher and Francis S. Collins, The New England Journal of Medicine, 7 Nov. 2002
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