motif


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mo·tif

 (mō-tēf′)
n.
1.
a. A recurrent thematic element in an artistic or literary work.
b. A dominant theme or central idea.
2. Music A short rhythmic or melodic passage that is repeated or evoked in various parts of a composition.
3. A repeated figure or design in architecture or decoration. See Synonyms at figure.
4. A recurrent pattern either of molecular sequence, usually of nucleotides or amino acids in proteins, or of molecular structure that usually corresponds to specific biological activity.

[French, from Old French, motive; see motive.]

motif

(məʊˈtiːf)
n
1. (Music, other) a distinctive idea, esp a theme elaborated on in a piece of music, literature, etc
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a distinctive idea, esp a theme elaborated on in a piece of music, literature, etc
3. (Art Terms) Also: motive a recurring form or shape in a design or pattern
4. (Clothing & Fashion) a single added piece of decoration, such as a symbol or name on a jumper, sweatshirt, etc
[C19: from French. See motive]

mo•tif

(moʊˈtif)

n.
1. a recurring subject, theme, idea, etc., esp. in a literary, artistic, or musical work.
2. a distinctive and recurring form, shape, figure, etc., in a design.
[1840–50; < French; see motive]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.motif - a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decorationmotif - a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decoration
pattern, design, figure - a decorative or artistic work; "the coach had a design on the doors"
2.motif - a theme that is repeated or elaborated in a piece of music
melodic theme, musical theme, theme, idea - (music) melodic subject of a musical composition; "the theme is announced in the first measures"; "the accompanist picked up the idea and elaborated it"
obbligato, obligato - a persistent but subordinate motif
3.motif - a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary or artistic work; "it was the usual `boy gets girl' theme"
idea, thought - the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about; "it was not a good idea"; "the thought never entered my mind"
topos - a traditional theme or motif or literary convention; "James Joyce uses the topos of the Wandering Jew in his Ulysses"

motif

noun
1. design, form, shape, decoration, ornament wallpaper with a rose motif
2. theme, idea, subject, concept, leitmotif the motif of magical apples in fairytales

motif

noun
An element or a component in a decorative composition:
Translations

motif

[məʊˈtiːf] N (Art, Mus) → motivo m; [of speech etc] → tema m (Sew) → adorno m

motif

[məʊˈtiːf] nmotif m

motif

n (Art, Mus) → Motiv nt; (Sew) → Muster nt

motif

[məʊˈtiːf] nmotivo
References in classic literature ?
I admit that I was absorbed by the distant view, so absorbed that I didn't notice then that the motif of the story is almost identical with the motif of "The Lagoon.
All his past was the VENUSBURG motif, while her he identified somehow with the PILGRIM'S CHORUS motif; and from the exalted state this elevated him to, he swept onward and upward into that vast shadow-realm of spirit-groping, where good and evil war eternally.
With three months of liberty I ought to make a start, though--if I could only get the necessary motif for it--the SOUL of the book.
She's really MacConnell's poetic motif, you see; makes the whole thing a fairy tale.
The highlights in this part of the work are cleverly managed, the MOTIF is admirably subordinated to the ground tints, and the technique is very fine.
As a motif, in song and story, it constantly crops up.
Chapter 2 presents a comprehensive coverage of the archaeological data on the petroglyphs of New Caledonia, provides definitions, gives a breakdown of sites region by region using the New Caledonia site registration codes and within each region gives a site by site inventory with drawing and photographs of motif panels and individual motifs.
If Chapter 5 were the main feature of a study devoted to the motif of child murder in George Eliot's work, then the general structure of the book would suffice, as the preceding chapters properly set the stage for it.
Ultimately, Gallego characterizes Schuyler's novel as a simple story that contains "an enormous discursive potential," and that simultaneously uses "passing" as an ironic strategy and also concludes the passing motif originating with the Du Boisian perspectives of double consciousness.
There are other critical aspects of the [gamma]-core motif as well, Yeaman says.
10 family members have a consensus motif QNKQNQ, with either the first or second triplet commonly repeated, while the P1.
Austere and playful, wicked and sacred, antic and serene in equal measure, Winkfield's meticulously delineated culinary, musical, mythic, and domestic motifs come together into odd and gracious apparitions on the canvas.