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
Several security experts questioned whether the effort to extort victims with computers hit by the virus was the main goal, or whether the unknown hackers behind the attack could have other motives.
But with the motives of hackers fast evolving — from cyberterrorism to industry espionage to disrupting operations to stealing field data — risks are rising fast, along with the stakes, the report found.
Here, four women who have actually tried it get real about their motives, their preparation process, and whether it's ever gotten them off.
The overture communicates the drama of negotiations through the counterpoint of the clarinet with the other instruments, striking a klezmer motif that exits quickly when met with the aggressive staccato passages of the strings and piano.
Being fed a variety of over 5,000 songs from Beethoven to Lady Gaga along with a library of 2 million motifs and riffs, Shimon is one of the world's first synthetic musicians.
There is a difference between debate and attacking the motives and good faith of another.
A motif of human-like figures encased in milky-white liquid pops up repeatedly until a dead-eyed child gets lit on fire amid a horde of zombie-like antagonists.
No one has a right to presume motives, especially those of children.
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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