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theme

Line breaks: theme
Pronunciation: /θiːm
 
/

Definition of theme in English:

noun

1The subject of a talk, piece of writing, exhibition, etc.; a topic: the theme of the sermon was reverence
More example sentences
  • This major exhibition focuses on the theme of desire in Surrealist art.
  • The former church will host an installation-based exhibition on the theme of light, which will run from July to October.
  • So we decided to have an exhibition on the theme of illumination.
Synonyms
matter, issue, question, concern;
idea, concept, thread, motif, trope, keynote, message;
thesis, argument, text;
gist, essence, core, substance, burden, thrust
1.1US An essay written by a school pupil on a particular subject.
Example sentences
  • She had to write a theme once on what book she'd want to have with her if she were stranded on a desert island.
  • So how do I go about writing a theme?
  • Each student will write a theme on a topic chosen by the teacher or selected through a class activity such as brainstorming.
Synonyms
2An idea that recurs in or pervades a work of art or literature: love and honour are the pivotal themes of the Hornblower books
More example sentences
  • Another important cause of tension was the persistent use of mythological themes in art and literature, in a society still devoted to Christianity.
  • Love, sex, duplicity, betrayal - the abiding themes of literature are all there, along with the fascinating twist that it's all going on under the watchful eye of the public.
  • The other day I glanced at the latest of these potted guides, which informed me that ‘childhood is a recurring theme in Scottish literature’.
2.1 Music A prominent or frequently recurring melody or group of notes in a composition: the first violin takes up the theme high up in its register
More example sentences
  • There are motifs, themes, and recurring melodies, all the things you'd expect from one song blown up to forty minutes.
  • Written in the form of a theme and variations, Britten composed a central theme based on a melody by the first great English composer, Henry Purcell.
  • His operas reveal careful dramatic planning, and his use of recurring themes and motifs frequently creates conceptual and musical unity within a work.
Synonyms
2.2 [usually as modifier] A piece of music that frequently recurs in or accompanies the beginning and end of a film, play, or musical: a theme song
More example sentences
  • The theme music of the film has become a hit with mobile users in town.
  • Pop stardom is simply not on his agenda, with film scores and theme music having significantly more appeal, and in his view, greater longevity in terms of a career.
  • It's a pleasure to hear the film's theme music and Nat King Cole's efforts so well presented.
3 [usually as modifier] A setting given to a restaurant, pub, or leisure venue, intended to evoke a particular country, historical period, culture, etc. an Irish theme pub
More example sentences
  • The Restaurant has three themes - Railway, History and Country.
  • How any of this related to the theme of the restaurant I couldn't figure then and still can't.
  • The rustic Northern theme of the restaurant and the pleasant ambient sound combined to make a truly wonderful and very repeatable dining experience.
4 Linguistics The first major constituent of a clause, indicating the subject matter, typically being the subject but optionally other constituents, as in ‘smitten he is not’. Contrasted with rheme.
Example sentences
  • In the theme-rheme structure, it is the theme that is the prominent element.
  • When a sentence has an indirect object, that constituent may also function as a marked theme, the focus of attention, by beginning the sentence.
4.1The stem of a noun or verb; the part to which inflections are added, especially one composed of the root and an added vowel.
5 historical Any of the twenty-nine provinces in the Byzantine empire.
Example sentences
  • Other administrative units were devised in due course, such as the shires in England and the themes in Byzantium.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Give a particular theme or setting to (a leisure venue, event, etc.): the amusement park will be themed as a Caribbean pirate stronghold (as adjective themed) a themed party
More example sentences
  • The garden party was one of three themed events chosen by the Queen to be part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations.
  • There will be prizes for the best costumes and street musicians and special themed events in the restaurants and pubs.
  • The money has been raised through fun weekends, tombola, raffles and special themed events.

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin thema, from Greek, literally 'proposition'; related to tithenai 'to set or place'.

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Word of the day prepotent
Pronunciation: ˌprēˈpōtnt
adjective
greater than others in power or influence