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.
- themeless, adjective
- subtheme, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use theme in a sentence
In fact, Google started testing it in December but over the past few days more and more have been seeing this theme.Google goes dark theme and passage ranking sees the light: Friday’s daily brief | Barry Schwartz | February 12, 2021 | Search Engine Land
As a group-show theme, “Red” may seem foolproof, but it entails a risk.In the galleries: Rejuvenating the obsolete into unconventional art | Mark Jenkins | February 12, 2021 | Washington Post
As Google rolls out dark theme to more searchers, the click through rate on your ads may be impacted.Google Search dark theme mode expands but search ads are hard to distinguish | Barry Schwartz | February 11, 2021 | Search Engine Land
That was the theme of the 2004 movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.People are concerned about tech tinkering with our minds | Laura Sanders | February 11, 2021 | Science News For Students
It has signed an IP partnership with Hasbro to launch a Nerf-themed game that has been working quite well.Hyper casual game publisher Homa Games raises $15 million | Romain Dillet | February 9, 2021 | TechCrunch
Will the Pam/Krieger relationship be an ongoing theme this season?‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS | Marlow Stern | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
The principle that outsiders should be welcomed and provided for was a cross-cultural theme in ancient cultures.Pope Bids Refugees to EU ‘Bienvenido’; Europe Says ‘Non’ | Candida Moss | November 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It goes without saying the theme-song “Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?”
Hagan has made this a central theme in her ads since Tillis is the speaker of the state assembly.In North Carolina, GOP Overreach May Be More Unpopular Than Obama | Dean Obeidallah | November 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Tom Arnold-Forster | November 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Martinez Camposʼ theme of “political action combined with military force” held no weight.The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
Mrs. Pell was a very elegant and accomplished woman; her manners were the theme of universal admiration in our neighbourhood.The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, v. 2(of 2) | Charles Dickens
Here again we have the landscape of Lorraine and the eternal and infinitely varied theme of rural labour.Bastien Lepage | Fr. Crastre
Glimpses of the cathedral towers through the rows of odd buildings is a favorite theme with the artists.British Highways And Byways From A Motor Car | Thomas D. Murphy
The coming of the storm (repetition of the theme which follows the adagio and the further development of it).The Life & Letters of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky | Modeste Tchaikovsky
British Dictionary definitions for 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
(in the Byzantine Empire) a territorial unit consisting of several provinces under a military commander
(modifier) planned or designed round one unifying subject, image, etc: a theme holiday
(tr) to design, decorate, arrange, etc, in accordance with a theme
- themeless, adjective
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
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.