AskDefine | Define theme

Dictionary Definition



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

User Contributed Dictionary




From tesme (French: thème), from etyl la thema, from etyl grc θέμα, from τίθημι, reduplicative from (whence also English do).


  1. a subject of a talk or an artistic piece; a topic.
  2. a recurring idea; a motif.
  3. the main melody of a piece of music, especially one that is the source of variations.
  4. computing figurative The collection of color schemes, sounds, artwork etc., that "skin" an environment towards a particular motif.
  5. stem of a word
  6. thematic relation of a noun phrase to a verb
  7. theta role in generative grammar and government and binding theory.
  8. topic, what is being talked about, as opposed to rheme


fixme=Translation table header lacks gloss
  • trreq Albanian
  • Arabic:
  • Armenian: թեմա
  • Bosnian: tema
  • Chinese: 主題, 主题 (zhǔtí), 題材, 题材 (tícái)
  • Croatian: tema
  • Czech: téma
  • Dutch: thema
  • Esperanto: temo
  • Finnish: aine, aihe, teema
  • French: thème
  • Georgian: თემა (t‘ema)
  • German: Thema, Motiv
  • Greek: θέμα
  • Hebrew: עצם
  • Hindi: प्रकरण
  • Hungarian: tárgy, téma
  • Italian: tema
  • Japanese: 主題 (しゅだい, shudai), テーマ (tēma)
  • Korean: 주제 (juje)
  • Latin: thema
  • Latvian: tēma
  • Lithuanian: tema
  • Mongolian: сэдэв (sêdêv)
  • Norwegian: tema
  • Persian: موضوع
  • Portuguese: tema
  • Russian: тема
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: тема
    Roman: tema
  • Spanish: tema
  • Swedish: tema
  • Thai: (gàen rêuang)
  • Turkish: konu
a subject of a talk or an artistic piece; a topic.
  • Hebrew: נושא

Extensive Definition

Theme may refer to:
Theme may also refer to:
Themes may also be associated with common cultural events or experiences:
theme in Danish: Tema
theme in German: Thema
theme in Modern Greek (1453-): Θέμα (αποσαφήνιση)
theme in Spanish: Tema
theme in French: Thème
theme in Korean: 테마
theme in Dutch: Thema
theme in Japanese: テーマ
theme in Romanian: Temă (dezambiguizare)
theme in Finnish: Teema
theme in Swedish: Tema
theme in Slovak: Téma

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

IC analysis, accidence, action, affix, affixation, allomorph, anagnorisis, angle, architectonics, architecture, argument, article, atmosphere, background, background detail, basis, bound morpheme, burden, case, catastrophe, causerie, chapter, characterization, color, complication, composition, concept, concern, conjugation, continuity, contrivance, core, cutting, declension, decorative composition, decorative style, denouement, derivation, descant, design, detail, development, device, difference of form, discourse, discussion, disquisition, dissertation, enclitic, episode, essay, essence, etude, examination, excursus, exercise, exposition, fable, falling action, feature, figure, first approach, focus of attention, focus of interest, foil, foreground detail, form, formative, free form, gimmick, gist, head, heading, homily, idea, immediate constituent analysis, incident, infix, infixation, inflection, introductory study, issue, keynote, leitmotiv, line, living issue, local color, lucubration, main point, matter, matter in hand, meat, memoir, monograph, mood, morceau, morph, morpheme, morphemic analysis, morphemics, morphology, morphophonemics, motif, motive, movement, mythos, national style, note, notion, ornamental motif, outline, pandect, paper, paradigm, paragraph, pattern, period style, peripeteia, phrase, piece, plan, plot, point, point at issue, point in question, prefix, prefixation, preliminary study, problem, proclitic, prolegomenon, question, radical, recognition, repeated figure, research paper, review, rising action, root, rubric, scheme, screed, secondary plot, setting, sketch, slant, special article, stem, story, structure, study, style, subject, subject matter, subject of thought, subplot, substance, suffix, suffixation, survey, switch, term paper, text, thematic development, thesis, thread, tone, topic, touch, tract, tractate, treatise, treatment, twist, word-formation
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