Definition of theme
1a : 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>
2 : stem 4
4 : a melodic subject of a musical composition or movement
themedplay \ˈthēmd\ adjective
Examples of theme in a sentence
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
One reiterated theme of his book is that the electoral process can be the most dangerous of delusions, tending to confer a spurious legitimacy on those most willing to corrupt it. —Hilary Mantel, New York Review, 21 Sept. 2006
The Eve of biblical legend was a temptress, thus initiating a lamentable theme in the history of sexism. —Stephen Jay Gould, Discover, July 1992
The quest for power is the underlying theme of the film.
A constant theme in his novels is religion.
The playwright skillfully brings together various themes.
The album focuses on themes of love and loss.
Adventures are popular themes in children's books.
The growing deficit was a dominant theme in the election.
The party had a Hawaiian luau theme.
They played the theme from the movie “Rocky.”
Origin and Etymology 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
THEME Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of theme for English Language Learners
: 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
THEME Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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