leitmotif

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leit·mo·tif

also leit·mo·tiv  (līt′mō-tēf′)
n.
1. A melodic passage or phrase, especially in Wagnerian opera, associated with a specific character, situation, or element.
2. A dominant and recurring theme, as in a novel.

[German Leitmotiv : leiten, to lead (from Middle High German, from Old High German leitan; see leit- in Indo-European roots) + Motiv, motif (from French motif; see motif).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

leitmotif

(ˈlaɪtməʊˌtiːf) or

leitmotiv

n
1. (Classical Music) music a recurring short melodic phrase or theme used, esp in Wagnerian music dramas, to suggest a character, thing, etc
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) an often repeated word, phrase, image, or theme in a literary work
[C19: from German leitmotiv leading motif]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

leit•mo•tif

(ˈlaɪt moʊˌtif)

n.
a motif or theme associated throughout a music drama with a particular person, situation, or idea.
[1875–80; < German: leading motive]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

leitmotif

A German word meaning leading motif, used to mean the main or recurring theme in something.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.leitmotif - a melodic phrase that accompanies the reappearance of a person or situation (as in Wagner's operas)
melodic line, melodic phrase, melody, tune, strain, air, line - a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence; "she was humming an air from Beethoven"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

leitmotif

leitmotiv
noun theme, idea, strain, phrase, melody, motif The song's title could serve as a leitmotif for her life.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
Translations

leitmotif

leitmotiv [ˈlaɪtməʊtiːf] nleitmotiv m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

leitmotif

, leitmotiv
n (Mus, fig) → Leitmotiv nt
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
As the opening score recurs as a leit motif throughout the ballet, the dramatic turn of events is interspersed with some charming mazurka and Czardas .
Nudism, seduction, free sex etc are the leit motif of these clubs.