theme

noun
\ ˈthēm How to pronounce theme (audio) \

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 : a melodic subject of a musical composition or movement
3 : a written exercise : composition a research theme

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Other Words from theme

themed \ ˈthēmd How to pronounce themed (audio) \ 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.”
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Recent Examples on the Web

One of the more interesting themes explored in the novel is a mother's love for her child. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "#ReadWithMC Reviews Fiona Barton's 'The Suspect'," 4 Mar. 2019 In 1975, the United Nations officially recognized International Women’s Day and in 1996, the idea of annual themes was brought up. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Why International Women's Day Is Celebrated on March 8," 28 Feb. 2019 Gimbel helped usher in the glory days of the TV theme. Christopher J. Scalia, WSJ, "Memories of Music’s Prime Time," 7 Jan. 2019 The highlight colors of this dark theme are really funky, ranging between pink and neon green for things like switches, buttons, and icons. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Palm Phone Review: Fun, endearing, and bad at everything," 1 Dec. 2018 While this was on theme for the spring season (that's when everyone starts thinking about vacation), Kors' fall 2019 collection will no doubt be different. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "How to Watch Michael Kors' Fall 2019 Runway Show," 12 Feb. 2019 Their ranks range from line cooks and theme-park workers to midcareer managers, for whom the price tag put the degree out of reach, companies and university officials said. Kelsey Gee, WSJ, "Now Hiring, With Attractive New Perk: Free College Degree," 2 Jan. 2019 Although these shuttles might feel more theme-park ride than transit solution, these slow-motion minibuses are performing an important task by introducing people to the idea of driverless tech. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "The good, the bad, and the ugly of self-driving cars in 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 Throw one on to take the kids trick-or-treating or pumpkin-carving, or host an ugly Halloween sweater party—a twist on the trendy holiday party theme. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Ugly Halloween Sweaters Were Made For People Who Are Too Lazy to Dress Up," 10 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'theme.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of theme

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for theme

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for theme

The first known use of theme was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for theme

theme

noun

English Language Learners Definition of theme

: 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

noun
\ ˈthēm How to pronounce theme (audio) \

Kids Definition of theme

1 : a subject of a work of art, music, or literature
2 : a specific quality, characteristic, or concern The room is decorated in a tropical theme.
3 : a written exercise : essay

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More from Merriam-Webster on theme

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with theme

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for theme

Spanish Central: Translation of theme

Nglish: Translation of theme for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of theme for Arabic Speakers

Comments on theme

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