- a subject of discourse, discussion, meditation, or composition; topic: The need for world peace was the theme of the meeting.
- a unifying or dominant idea, motif, etc., as in a work of art.
- a short, informal essay, especially a school composition.
- a principal melodic subject in a musical composition.
- a short melodic subject from which variations are developed.
- Grammar. the element common to all or most of the forms of an inflectional paradigm, often consisting of a root with certain formative elements or modifications.Compare stem1(def 16).
- Linguistics. topic(def 4).
- Also thema. an administrative division of the Byzantine Empire.
- having a unifying theme: a theme restaurant decorated like a spaceship.
verb (used with object), themed, them·ing.
- to provide with a theme.
- an idea or topic expanded in a discourse, discussion, etc
- (in literature, music, art, etc) a unifying idea, image, or motif, repeated or developed throughout a work
- music a group of notes forming a recognizable melodic unit, often used as the basis of the musical material in a composition
- a short essay, esp one set as an exercise for a student
- linguistics the first major constituent of a sentence, usually but not necessarily the subject. In the sentence history I do like, “history” is the theme of the sentence, even though it is the object of the verb
- grammar another word for root 1 (def. 9), stem 1 (def. 9)
- (in the Byzantine Empire) a territorial unit consisting of several provinces under a military commander
- (modifier) planned or designed round one unifying subject, image, etca theme holiday
- (tr) to design, decorate, arrange, etc, in accordance with a theme
n.c.1300, from Old French tesme (13c., with silent -s-), from Latin thema “a subject, thesis,” from Greek thema “a proposition, subject, deposit,” literally “something set down,” from root of tithenai “put down, place,” from PIE root *dhe- “to put, to do” (see factitious). Extension to music first recorded 1670s; theme song first attested 1929. Theme park is from 1960. A central idea in a piece of writing or other work of art: “The theme of desperation is found throughout his novels.” Also a short composition assigned to a student as a writing exercise.