[ theem ]

/ θim /

SEE SYNONYMS FOR theme ON THESAURUS.COM

noun

a subject of discourse, discussion, meditation, or composition; topic: The need for world peace was the theme of the meeting.

a unifying or dominant idea, motif, etc., as in a work of art.

a short, informal essay, especially a school composition.

Music.

  1. a principal melodic subject in a musical composition.
  2. a short melodic subject from which variations are developed.

Grammar. the element common to all or most of the forms of an inflectional paradigm, often consisting of a root with certain formative elements or modifications.Compare stem1 (def. 16).

Linguistics. topic (def. 4).

Also thema. an administrative division of the Byzantine Empire.

adjective

having a unifying theme: a theme restaurant decorated like a spaceship.

verb (used with object), themed, them·ing.

to provide with a theme.

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Origin of theme

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English teme, theme (from Old French teme), from Medieval Latin thema,Latin, from Greek théma “proposition, deposit,” akin to tithénai “to put, set down”

SYNONYMS FOR theme

SEE SYNONYMS FOR theme ON THESAURUS.COM

synonym study for theme

1. See subject.

OTHER WORDS FROM theme

themeless, adjectivesubtheme, noun

Words nearby theme

thematic, Thematic Apperception Test, thematization, the matter, Mayor of Casterbridge, The, theme, The medium is the message, The meek shall inherit the Earth, Member of the Wedding, The, theme park, Merchant of Venice, The

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Words related to theme

thought, motif, point, text, question, argument, topic, matter, stuff, problem, line, subject, description, case, affair, head, thesis, business, keynote, motive

Example sentences from the Web for theme

  • The issue explored the theme of vulnerability, “relevant to anyone who seeks understanding, change, love, and belonging.”

    The Winning Gay Subtlety of ‘Hello Mr.’|Justin Jones|September 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • The orchestra played his theme and an army announcer introduced him as the Number One ventriloquist in the world.

    The Second Voice|Mann Rubin

  • The theme was not dissimilar to that which has been here presented in outline.

    Notable Events of the Nineteenth Century|Various

  • His two ‘Strawberries,’ as he christened them, were henceforth the theme of every letter.

    The Wits and Beaux of Society|Grace & Philip Wharton

  • She could not quit the theme: doing that would have been to be indifferent: something urged her to it.

    The Celt and Saxon, Complete|George Meredith

  • But the theme by amplification became nauseous, and he at length with some roughness put an end to the tale.

    Caleb Williams|William Godwin

British Dictionary definitions for theme

theme

/ (θiːm) /

noun

an idea or topic expanded in a discourse, discussion, etc

(in literature, music, art, etc) a unifying idea, image, or motif, repeated or developed throughout a work

music a group of notes forming a recognizable melodic unit, often used as the basis of the musical material in a composition

a short essay, esp one set as an exercise for a student

linguistics the first major constituent of a sentence, usually but not necessarily the subject. In the sentence history I do like, “history” is the theme of the sentence, even though it is the object of the verb

grammar another word for root 1 (def. 9), stem 1 (def. 9)

(in the Byzantine Empire) a territorial unit consisting of several provinces under a military commander

(modifier) planned or designed round one unifying subject, image, etca theme holiday

verb

(tr) to design, decorate, arrange, etc, in accordance with a theme

Derived forms of theme

themeless, adjective

Word Origin for theme

C13: from Latin thema, from Greek: deposit, from tithenai to lay down

Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for theme

theme

A central idea in a piece of writing or other work of art: “The theme of desperation is found throughout his novels.” Also a short composition assigned to a student as a writing exercise.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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