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
An example of how such deals raise questions about Mr Trump’s motives is the current Gulf spat over Qatar’s alleged support for terrorists.
One popular motif was a picture of an empty chair, echoing the way the Nobel Prize committee honored Mr. Liu at the 2010 ceremony.
There are so many opportunities for midnight movie audience interaction too — bizarre and strange little motifs practically screaming out for a handful of popcorn to be thrown at the screen.
While the voter data sought might be public record, opponents in Idaho and elsewhere object more out of concern for the commission’s underlying motives and a possible political agenda out of the White House.
If florals are the must-have print of spring, then gingham is the go-to motif come summer.
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.
Nathan Diehl’s music direction leads a 15-piece orchestra through Andrew Lloyd Webber’s motif-laden score.
Brees, who customarily leads a ceremonial procession around the edge of Bayou St. John wearing an American-flag motif dress and carrying a triumphant sword, said that the symbolism seems off-base since the election of President Donald Trump.
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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