theme

noun
\ˈthēm \

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 \ 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

That’s consistent with one of our themes and principles for shopping on Instagram, which is this should be your personalized mall. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Instagram is creating a ‘personalized mall’ for everyone," 21 Nov. 2018 Keeping with the vintage theme, my watch choice for this trip was a Rolex Datejust Thunderbird from the late 1960s. Matt Hranek, Condé Nast Traveler, "Time and Place: Rolex in Hilton Head," 14 Nov. 2018 Instead of having to debate or defend his ideas, Bolsonaro stayed in his hospital bed and continued to hammer away at his campaign themes via Facebook Lives and Twitter. Peter Prengaman, The Seattle Times, "A rise from marginal lawmaker to presidential front-runner," 27 Oct. 2018 In keeping with the natural theme, rustic furniture is handmade. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Rustic Design," 26 Oct. 2018 To Kill a Mockingbird is a great classic, a wonderful read—and a book that means a lot to a great number of people in the current political climate, owing to its themes of racial and social justice. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Outlander Author Diana Gabaldon on Her Two Rules for Writing a Good Sex Scene," 24 Oct. 2018 Ling Ma’s debut novel tackles countless themes—immigration, work culture, family, capitalism, and the confusing aimlessness of your early 20s—with a dry wit that keeps the horrific digestible, the repetitive laughable, and the pages turning. Marie Claire, "These Are the Best Books of 2018, According to Our Editors," 15 Oct. 2018 Regardless of who plans to tune in next week, though, there was one theme that seemed to ring true for anyone who gave the drama a try: Tissues were necessary. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'A Million Little Things' Premiered Last Night and Fans Have a Lot of Thoughts," 27 Sep. 2018 The only concrete theme throughout their work—in all degrees of scale and permanence—is twisting the familiar into something surprising and delightful. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Play it forward," 18 July 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

4 Dec 2018

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 \

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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