Definition of leitmotif in English:

Share this entry

leitmotif

Pronunciation: /ˈlītmōˌtēf/
(also leitmotiv)

noun

A recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation.
Example sentences
  • The constant struggle to make a living in the arts in New Zealand runs like a leitmotiv throughout the book.
  • The book of Jonah is a leitmotif in this novel for illustrating this idea.
  • The key leitmotiv throughout Richard Hooker's writings is the concept of order.

Origin

Late 19th century: from German Leitmotiv, from leit- 'leading' (from leiten 'to lead') + Motiv 'motive'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: leit·mo·tif

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.