theme

noun

1
a
: 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
4
themed 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.”
Recent Examples on the Web Photo: Todd Selby Though no color palette or prescriptive theme reigns over the home, one cohesive element is present throughout: plants. Nicole Kliest, Vogue, 12 Apr. 2024 Naturally, the anniversary cake adhered to the same theme with several nods to PEOPLE’s past and present sprinkled on the dessert. Antonia Debianchi, Peoplemag, 11 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for theme 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'theme.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near theme

Cite this Entry

“Theme.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theme. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

theme

noun
1
a
: a subject for a work of literature, art, or music
guilt and punishment is the theme of the story
b
: a specific and distinctive quality, characteristic, or concern
the house was decorated in a country theme
2
: a written exercise : composition
thematic
thi-ˈmat-ik
adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on theme

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