A recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation: there are two leitmotifs in his score marking the heroine and her Fairy Godmother
More 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.
late 19th century: from German Leitmotiv, from leit- 'leading' (from leiten 'to lead') + Motiv 'motive'.
Definition of leitmotif in:
- The US English dictionary