A recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation.
- 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.
Late 19th century: from German Leitmotiv, from leit- 'leading' (from leiten 'to lead') + Motiv 'motive'.
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