noun (plural mottoes or mottos)
- 1A short sentence or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals of an individual, family, or institution: the family motto is ‘Faithful though Unfortunate’More example sentences
- His family motto epitomises the Giffards' traditional love of hunting.
- Mark and I have also developed many skills over the years so make do and mend is a bit of a family motto.
- Above a door he spots a shield with the Montgomerie family motto - ‘Guard Yourself Well’.
- 2 Music A phrase which recurs throughout a musical work and has some symbolical significance: they were developing the use of leitmotifs or mottoes that appear throughout an operaMore example sentences
- Elgar rarely states the motto in full, and yet its presence haunts the entire work.
late 16th century: from Italian, 'word'.