American English

Definition of theme noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
  1. 1the subject or main idea in a talk, piece of writing, or work of art North American literature is the main theme of this year's festival. The President stressed a favorite campaign theme—greater emphasis on education. The naked male figure was always the central theme of Greek art. The stories are all variations on the theme of unhappy marriage. Topic CollocationsLiteraturebeing a writer write/publish literature/poetry/fiction/a book/a story/a poem/a novel/a review/an autobiography become a writer/novelist/playwright find/have a publisher/an agent have a new book out edit/revise/proofread a book/text/manuscript dedicate a book/poem to…plot, character, and atmosphere construct/create/weave/weave something into a complex narrative advance/drive the plot introduce/present the protagonist/a character describe/depict/portray a character (as…)/(somebody as) a hero/villain create an exciting/a tense atmosphere build/heighten the suspense/tension evoke/capture the pathos of the situation convey emotion/an idea/an impression/a sense of… engage the reader seize/capture/grip the (reader's) imagination arouse/elicit emotion/sympathy (in the reader) lack imagination/emotion/structure/rhythmlanguage, style, and imagery use/employ language/imagery/humor/an image/a symbol/a metaphor/a device use/adopt/develop a style/technique be rich in/be full of symbolism evoke images of…/a sense of…/a feeling of… create/achieve an effect maintain/lighten the tone introduce/develop an idea/a theme inspire a novel/a poet/somebody's work/somebody's imaginationreading and criticism read an author/somebody's work/fiction/poetry/a text/an article/a poem/a novel/a chapter/a passage review an article/a book/a novel/somebody's work give something/get/have/receive a good/bad review be hailed (as)/be recognized as a masterpiece quote a phrase/a line/a stanza/a passage/an author provoke/spark discussion/criticism study/interpret/understand a text/passage translate somebody's work/a text/a passage/a novel/a poem
  2. 2(music) a short tune that is repeated or developed in a piece of music
  3. 3= theme music the theme from “The Godfather”
  4. 4(old-fashioned) a short piece of writing on a particular subject, done for school
  5. 5(linguistics) the part of a sentence or clause that contains information that is not new to the reader or audience compare rheme
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: theme