\ 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 theme (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 Disney MagicMobile, a new option for gaining entrance into Walt Disney World’s theme parks, launched to the general public with Apple devices Tuesday morning, Disney has confirmed. Dewayne Bevil,, "Disney MagicMobile, a park entrance option, launches for Apple devices," 30 Mar. 2021 Located near Orlando-area theme parks like Universal Orlando and Disney World, Encore Resort has a water park, kids' club, restaurants and bars, and fun activities the whole family will enjoy, including trivia, tie-dyeing, crafts, and more. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, "10 U.S. Resorts Perfect for Your Next Family Reunion," 30 Mar. 2021 The attraction was scheduled to debut in March 2020 but that was postponed once Universal Studios Hollywood and other theme parks in the state shut in mid-March due to the pandemic. Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times, "Universal Studios Hollywood to reopen April 16 with new attraction," 30 Mar. 2021 On March 5, California’s Department of Public Health released new rules for theme parks and outdoor ballparks and stadiums to reopen effective April 1. Rick Rouan, USA TODAY, "Fact check: California rollercoaster riders are not banned from screaming because of COVID-19," 25 Mar. 2021 Super Nintendo World is expected to bring more family-friendly attractions to Universal’s theme parks, which are slightly more geared toward teens and adults. Valerie Marino, Condé Nast Traveler, "Everything We Know About Super Nintendo World at Universal Orlando," 25 Mar. 2021 Bob Willis shows off his cars at events, theme parks and, through April 11, at the San Antonio Museum of Art. San Antonio Express-News, "Express Briefing: Alamo human remains case could go to U.S. Supreme Court," 23 Mar. 2021 This week, the state announced theme parks could open next month but park-goers may have to contain their excitement. Morgan Phillips, Fox News, "Saturday marks one year since California went on lockdown. Here are some of today’s restrictions," 21 Mar. 2021 Under the new guidelines announced earlier this month by Gov. Gavin Newsom and state public health officials, theme parks are limited to 15 percent capacity in counties that are in the red tier, which San Diego officially entered Wednesday. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Legoland reopening April 1 after year-long closure," 19 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for theme

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for theme

Last Updated

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Theme.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for theme



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


\ 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for theme

Nglish: Translation of theme for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of theme for Arabic Speakers

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