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used in a sentence
3 meanings
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1  —as in:
theme of the novel
Definition a basic idea that underlies what is being said or done — especially in a literary or artistic work
  • The party had a 1950's theme.
theme = an idea that is unifying or recurrent
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • What is the theme of your essay?
  • theme = the basic idea that underlies what is being said
  • Rosaleen offered to bake the wedding cake layers, and Violet and Queenie were going to decorate it with a "rainbow theme."
    Sue Monk Kidd  --  The Secret Life of Bees
  • theme = unifying idea
  • Thus they went onward, not boldly, but step by step, into the themes that were brooding deepest in their hearts.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • themes = basic ideas
  • Some committee decided the theme should be Midnight in Paris, so there's a huge Eiffel Tower made out of Christmas lights.
    Angie Thomas  --  The Hate U Give
  • theme = unifying idea
  • Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were the themes of universal admiration.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Christmas Carol
  • themes = basic ideas
  • There are fully trimmed aluminum Christmas trees all around, displaying all sorts of holiday decorations, each tree with a different theme.
    Neal Shusterman  --  Unwind
  • theme = unifying idea
  • My father also loved to write poetry, sometimes about love, but often on controversial themes such as honor killings and women's rights.
    Malala Yousafzai  --  I Am Malala
  • themes = unifying ideas
  • That's why the world's lousy with theme parks.
    J.D. Robb  --  Naked in Death
  • theme parks = amusement parks each of which have one or more basic underlying ideas — such as the Magic Kingdom
  • Always they were a rehashing of the ancient themes—slum tenements, starving children, street battles, capitalists in top hats—
    George Orwell  --  1984
themes = recurring ideas

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
2  —as in:
musical theme
Definition the initial or primary melody of a musical composition


(as in "theme song") music that is most repeated in a film, television series, or other theatrical production
  • I smile every time I hear The Simpson's theme music.
theme = primary melody
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • My mood is uplifted when I hear the Indiana Jones theme music.
  • theme = primary melody
  • The theme is announced in the first measures.
  • theme = primary melody
  • I could almost hear the Star Wars theme music playing in my head as I stood on the stage.
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  • theme = music that is most repeated in a film
  • [Fresh Prince of Bel-Air] I even relate to the theme song. A couple of gang members who were up to no good made trouble in my neighborhood...
    Angie Thomas  --  The Hate U Give
  • theme = music most repeated in a television series
  • The new tune which was to be the theme-song of Hate Week (the Hate Song, it was called) had already been composed and was being endlessly plugged on the telescreens.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • theme = most repeated
  • the theme tunes from a few popular TV shows
    Darren Shan  --  A Living Nightmare
  • theme = primary melody
  • The Fresh Prince theme and his willingness to embarrass himself helped with that.
    Angie Thomas  --  The Hate U Give
  • theme = music most repeated in a television series
  • The band started playing "My Girl," the squad theme song,
    Sarah Dessen  --  Dreamland
theme = most repeated

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
3  —as in:
wrote a 2-page theme on my summer
Definition an essay written by a student

(This sense of theme is much rarer in recent decades than in the past.)
  • She has us write a 500-word theme every other week.
theme = an essay written by a student
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Do you choose the topic for your theme or is it assigned?
  • theme = an essay written by a student
  • I wondered for a long time how to start that theme, how to start writing about something that was important to me.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • theme = essay
  • Grace grabbed the theme and shook it at her daughter, who was being rocked in Flora Baumbach's arms.
    Ellen Raskin  --  The Westing Game
  • theme = essay
  • "I bet you like to write themes," he said, rolling his eyes.
    Sue Monk Kidd  --  The Secret Life of Bees
  • themes = essays written by students
  • That theme— how long can it be?
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • theme = essay
  • This one started because I hadn't done anything on that theme, and I wanted to go for a ride.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • theme = essay
  • I tried to write that theme when I got home.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • theme = essay
  • And it isn't a reference theme; I want your own ideas and your own experiences.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • theme = essay
  • What's the theme supposed to be on?
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
theme = essay

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