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View synonyms for motif

motif

[ moh-teef ]

noun

  1. a recurring subject, theme, idea, etc., especially in a literary, artistic, or musical work.
  2. a distinctive and recurring form, shape, figure, etc., in a design, as in a painting or on wallpaper.
  3. a dominant idea or feature:

    Pulmonary problems were a grim motif in his life.

  4. Biochemistry. a distinct pattern of amino acids in a function-specific protein sequence:

    No polyproline motif has been observed in these yeast proteins.



motif

/ məʊˈtiːf /

noun

  1. a distinctive idea, esp a theme elaborated on in a piece of music, literature, etc
  2. Alsomotive a recurring form or shape in a design or pattern
  3. a single added piece of decoration, such as a symbol or name on a jumper, sweatshirt, etc


motif

  1. In literature, art, or music, a recurring set of words, shapes, colors, or notes. In the poem “ The Raven ,” by Edgar Allan Poe , for example, the word nevermore is a motif appearing at the end of each stanza . Likewise, the first four notes of the Fifth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven are a motif that is developed and reshaped throughout the work.


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Word History and Origins

Origin of motif1

First recorded in 1840–50; from French; motive

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Word History and Origins

Origin of motif1

C19: from French. See motive

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Example Sentences

Dorothy Draper, the mother of American interior design, was a master at mixing patterns, with her liberal use of motifs and colors.

Floral motifs were the most popular, with herbs and vegetables forming intricate blooms.

Naturally, this development is impacting advertising and one upshot is that brands are paying greater attention to the suites of sounds, voices and motifs that define how consumers “hear” the brand.

From Digiday

The Upstate New Yorker’s prominent motifs include crystal-like patterns and sprays of rounded, tapered shapes that resemble both leaves and water drops.

Wednesday’s event took place in front of a Richmond elementary school that McAuliffe used as a motif to discuss his plans to boost the state’s education system and address inequities in schools.

The steady, entrancing rhythms are a well-established motif in dramatizations of the American war in Vietnam.

After several weeks of shock and mourning, Hartley began a series of paintings known as the War Motif paintings.

My understanding is that this artwork came first and was soon replaced with the “Sambo as a baby genie” motif.

This motif has been a classic of anti-modernism for two centuries in Europe.

Soth relates the garages to a repeating cube motif in the series.

We must have motif first, then technique to adapt and adjust expression and to develop facility in the active agents.

With this (class c) form of the story we frequently find combined what is known as The False Claimant ‘motif.’

The bird motif occurs in the decoration of metallic objects in the British Islands during the early centuries in this era.

It is not repoussé, but is cut in openwork of intricate pattern in which the Swastika is the principal motif.

It seemed illogical, and evaded him, like a melody with a dimly familiar motif which he was unable to place or even fully recall.

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