What does theme mean?

Definitions for theme

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word theme.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. subject, topic, themenoun

    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"

  2. theme, motifnoun

    a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary or artistic work

    "it was the usual `boy gets girl' theme"

  3. theme, melodic theme, musical theme, ideanoun

    (music) melodic subject of a musical composition

    "the theme is announced in the first measures"; "the accompanist picked up the idea and elaborated it"

  4. composition, paper, report, themenoun

    an essay (especially one written as an assignment)

    "he got an A on his composition"

  5. root, root word, base, stem, theme, radicalverb

    (linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed

    "thematic vowels are part of the stem"

  6. themeverb

    provide with a particular theme or motive

    "the restaurant often themes its menus"


  1. themenoun

    A subject of a talk or an artistic piece; a topic.

  2. themenoun

    A recurring idea; a motif.

  3. themenoun

    The main melody of a piece of music, especially one that is the source of variations.

  4. themenoun

    The collection of color schemes, sounds, artwork etc., that "skin" an environment towards a particular motif.

  5. themenoun

    The stem of a word

  6. themenoun

    thematic relation of a noun phrase to a verb

  7. themenoun

    Theta role in generative grammar and government and binding theory.

  8. themenoun

    Topic, what is being talked about, as opposed to rheme

  9. themenoun

    A regional unit of organisation in the Byzantine empire.

  10. Etymology: From tesme (French: thème), from thema, from θέμα, from τίθημι, reduplicative from dʰeh₁- (whence also English do).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Themenoun

    Etymology: theme, Fr. from ϑέμα.

    Every object of our idea is called a theme, whether it be a being or not being. Isaac Watts.

    Two truths are told,
    As happy prologues to the swelling act
    Of the imperial theme. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    When a soldier was the theme, my name
    Was not far off. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    O! could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
    My great example, as it is my theme:
    Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull;
    Strong without rage, without o’erflowing full. John Denham.

    Whatever near Eurota’s happy stream,
    With laurels crown’d, had been Apollo’s theme. Wentworth Dillon.

    Though Tyber’s streams immortal Rome behold,
    Though foaming Hermus swells with tides of gold,
    From heav’n itself though seven-fold Nilus flows,
    And harvests on a hundred realms bestows;
    These now no more shall be the muse’s themes,
    Lost in my fame, as in the sea their streams. Alexander Pope.

    Let scholars daily reduce the words to their original or theme, to the first case of nouns, or first tense of verbs. Isaac Watts.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Themenoun

    a subject or topic on which a person writes or speaks; a proposition for discussion or argument; a text

  2. Themenoun

    discourse on a certain subject

  3. Themenoun

    a composition or essay required of a pupil

  4. Themenoun

    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. Themenoun

    that by means of which a thing is done; means; instrument

  6. Themenoun

    the leading subject of a composition or a movement


  1. Theme

    In music, a theme is the material, usually a recognizable melody, upon which part or all of a composition is based. In forms such as the fugue this may be known as the subject.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Theme

    thēm, n. a subject set or proposed for discussion, or on which a person speaks or writes, a thesis, a brief essay: a verb in its radical form unmodified by inflections: (mus.) subject, a short melody developed with variations: an administrative division under the Byzantine empire.—n. Thē′ma, that which constitutes a subject of thought.—adj. Thēmat′ic.—adv. Thēmat′ically.—n. Thē′matist, a writer of themes. [Fr. thème—L. thema—Gr. tithēmi, I place, set.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'theme' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2624

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'theme' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4206

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'theme' in Nouns Frequency: #852

How to pronounce theme?

How to say theme in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of theme in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of theme in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of theme in a Sentence

  1. Todd McCarthy:

    Unfortunately,' Mockingjay - Part 1' has all the personality of an industrial film, there's not a drop of insolence, insubordination or insurrection running through its veins ; it feels like a manufactured product through and through, ironic and sad given its revolutionary theme.

  2. Casey Bloys:

    From the western theme park to the technocratic metropolis of the near future, we've thoroughly enjoyed every twist and turn from the minds of Jonathan Nolan Lisa Joy, we can't wait to see where Jonathan Nolan Lisa Joy inspired vision takes us next.

  3. Teerapa Pirohakul:

    The theme of power and 'The Respectables' really goes with the context of Thailand right now. Especially with the type of government we are under.

  4. Rush Limbaugh:

    For one thing, it's almost absolute proof of what I have been saying for last couple years now, that the Republican Party's trying to drive conservatives out of the party, Limbaugh said on his show Wednesday. But I think it's more than that. It's certainly that, but her speech last night sort of expanded the theme of who is and who isn't qualified to be a Republican, and the Republican Party is still anti-conservative.

  5. Aaron Schaechterle:

    We're not playing a water scarcity theme per se, but instead the companies that are investing aggressively in technology products even in an old line industry.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for theme

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    a state of irritation or annoyance
    • A. exacerbate
    • B. aberrate
    • C. suffuse
    • D. huff

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