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

Chopova Lowena emerges at a time when sustainability and clothing with a backstory, be it personal and historical, have become running themes in fashion. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "This English-Bulgarian Brand Is Making Fantastical Traditional Dress," 17 May 2019 For instance, communication will be a central theme in the life of a Gemini Ascendant, whereas innovation, progress, and nonconformity will define an Aquarius Ascendant’s experience. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The 12 Astrological Houses: Interpreting Your Birth Chart Beyond the Zodiac," 6 Oct. 2018 The outdoor beach culture was a guiding theme in how the bungalows were crafted. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Three San Diego Bungalows Are Transformed Into Vibrant, History-Filled Getaways," 3 Oct. 2018 Kate's health struggles have been a constant theme in her life. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "The Important Things You Missed During the 'This Is Us' Season 3 Premiere," 26 Sep. 2018 Commemorated annually on July 11 by the United Nations, last year's theme was also about family planning with an emphasis on developing nations. Editors, USA TODAY, "World Cup semifinal, NATO summit: 5 things you need to know Wednesday," 11 July 2018 The theme for this year’s competition was Conflict and Compromis. Christina Hyder, Howard County Times, "Maple festival offers a bit of everything [North Laurel/Savage]," 6 July 2018 There are always people to learn from, which is the theme of the full moon in Libra on Friday, April 19. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What April’s Leo Horoscope Means for You," 31 Mar. 2019 Pope Francis devoted the first day of a two-day visit to Morocco on Saturday to two of his signature themes: the rights of migrants and relations between Christians and Muslims. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Pope Reaches Out to Muslims, Champions Migrants in Morocco," 30 Mar. 2019

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

22 May 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

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