- 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.
- a principal melodic subject in a musical composition.
- 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.
- having a unifying theme: a theme restaurant decorated like a spaceship.
- to provide with a theme.
Origin of theme
SynonymsSee more synonyms for theme on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for theme
In the comics, a theme that recurs again and again is Wonder Woman being tied up, then breaking free.Wonder Woman’s Creation Story Is Wilder Than You Could Ever Imagine
November 3, 2014
Warming to his theme, Argiros adds, “All human life passes through here- the good bad and the ugly.”Inside New York’s Most Powerful Diner
October 31, 2014
At the suggestion of founder Maneesh Goyal, the company went with a Pee-wee Herman theme.The Childish Genius of Pee-wee’s Playhouse
October 23, 2014
Yeah, I mean, the theme of this episode is an interesting one.Andrew Lincoln Wants Rick to End With Johnny Cash and the Sunset
October 14, 2014
The issue explored the theme of vulnerability, “relevant to anyone who seeks understanding, change, love, and belonging.”The Winning Gay Subtlety of ‘Hello Mr.’
September 26, 2014
I recur to it here as a plausible suggestion only, in connection with my theme.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
The theme was the same as that of Mr. Gladstone's letter, to which it was regarded as an answer.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
A subject was offered him, in which no other poet would have found a theme for the Muse.Biographical Sketches
At the present moment it is to me the only theme worthy of a man's entire attention.
His eyes shone, and his face flushed with the fervor of his theme.
- 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
- (tr) to design, decorate, arrange, etc, in accordance with a theme
Word Origin and History for theme
c.1300, from Old French tesme (13c., with silent -s-), from Latin thema "a subject, thesis," from Greek thema "a proposition, subject, deposit," literally "something set down," from root of tithenai "put down, place," from PIE root *dhe- "to put, to do" (see factitious). Extension to music first recorded 1670s; theme song first attested 1929. Theme park is from 1960.
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.