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also leit·mo·tiv  (līt′mō-tēf′)
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.


(ˈlaɪtməʊˌtiːf) or


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


(ˈlaɪt moʊˌtif)

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.


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.


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


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


, 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 ?
Each time, he compels you to think irreversibly about leitmotifs that have touched our lives.
The collection finds inspiration in the designers love for old textiles and their sublime leitmotifs.bsac-850950-514101487-placeSaba Qamar was the showstopper for Rimple and Harpreet Narula.
He uses leitmotifs in a similar way to Wagner as the mention of three central figures, Scarpia, Tosca, and Cavaradossi.
The artist's thematic and stylistic leitmotifs are highlighted, including self-portraiture, urban scenes, landscapes, couples, and the artist and his model.
His discussions of music examples, leitmotifs, and music history are both sensitive and accurate, and the connections he makes between Williams and previous composers and musical styles are astute.
The collection was sponsored by the Rumi Institute at Near East University, in Cyprus, and is organized in four parts, covering leitmotifs of RumiAEs poetics, RumiAEs Sufi ecumenism, historical and theological perspectives on RumiAEs work, and sense and structure in Mathnawi.
Meier scrutinizes features of the prophets that run throughout the prophetic books like leitmotifs: the divine council, the manner of revelation, angels, thus said Yahweh, miracles, prophets as king-makers, etc.
Among his topics are the existential and transcendental analysis of music, the irony of romanticism, whether Wagner's leitmotifs have a system, the implicit musical semiotics of Marcel Proust, and an essay on Russian music.
Cardinal Georges Cottier's "Politics, Morality, and Original Sin" warns against demonizing the other, noting, with approval, key Obama speeches (Notre Dame and Cairo) and showing their accord with Catholic social teaching--remarks that provide interesting off-stage counterpoint to episcopal leitmotifs heard more frequently on center stage.
So you could be X with political links or Y who has made it big as a realtor -- land and greed are the common leitmotifs of their stories.
and leitmotifs for hours, the green tea excellent at Le Chambord,
The Barahona-born artist generally uses the canvas of childhood in his installations to project his disenchantment with the negative socio-political reality of his homeland, using the leitmotifs of material and intellectual poverty, violence and premature sexualization.