Definition of


  1. (noun, cognition) a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary or artistic work
  2. (noun, communication) (linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed
  3. (noun, communication) an essay (especially one written as an assignment)
  4. (noun, communication) the subject matter of a conversation or discussion
    it was a very sensitive topic
    his letters were always on the theme of love
  5. (noun, communication) (music) melodic subject of a musical composition
    the accompanist picked up the idea and elaborated it
  6. (verb, possession) provide with a particular theme or motive

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Theme

  1. c.1300, from O.Fr. tesme (13c., with silent -s-), from L. thema "a subject, thesis," from Gk. thema "a proposition, subject, deposit," lit. "something set down," from root of tithenai "put down, place," from PIE base *dhe- "to put, to do" (see factitious). Extension to music first recorded 1674; theme song first attested 1929. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

Note: If you're looking to improve your vocabulary right now, we highly recommend Ultimate Vocabulary Software.

Word of the Moment


inclined to accept rather than reject