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theme Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the subject matter of a conversation or discussion
    topic; subject.
    • he didn't want to discuss that subject
    • it was a very sensitive topic
    • his letters were always on the theme of love
  2. noun a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary or artistic work
    • it was the usual `boy gets girl' theme
  3. noun (music) melodic subject of a musical composition
    melodic theme; musical theme; idea.
    • the theme is announced in the first measures
    • the accompanist picked up the idea and elaborated it
  4. noun an essay (especially one written as an assignment)
    report; paper; composition.
    • he got an A on his composition
  5. noun (linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed
    root word; radical; stem; base; root.
    • thematic vowels are part of the stem
  6. verb provide with a particular theme or motive
    • the restaurant often themes its menus

Theme noun
OE. teme, OF. teme, F. thème, L. thema, Gr. , fr. to set, place. See Do, and cf. Thesis.
  1. A subject or topic on which a person writes or speaks; a proposition for discussion or argument; a text.
    My theme is alway one and ever was. Chaucer.
    And when a soldier was the theme, my name Was not far off. Shak.
  2. Discourse on a certain subject.
    Then ran repentance and rehearsed his theme. Piers Plowman.
    It was the subject of my theme. Shak.
  3. A composition or essay required of a pupil. Locke.
  4. (Gram.) A noun or verb, not modified by inflections; also, that part of a noun or verb which remains unchanged (except by euphonic variations) in declension or conjugation; stem.
  5. That by means of which a thing is done; means; instrument. Obs. Swift.
  6. (Mus.) The leading subject of a composition or a movement.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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