Definition of motif noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//məʊˈtiːf//
    ; NAmE NAmE//moʊˈtiːf//
    Describing music, Elements of a story
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  1. 1a design or a pattern used as a decoration wallpaper with a flower motif
  2. 2a subject, an idea or a phrase that is repeated and developed in a work of literature or a piece of music see also leitmotif synonym theme See related entries: Describing music, Elements of a story
  3. Word Originmid 19th cent.: from French.Extra examples Alienation is a central motif in her novels. The jacket has a rose motif on the collar. The rug was decorated with a simple flower motif.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: motif