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Related to leitmotif: leitmotiv


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 ?
From the magically poised and immaculately chorded 'Requiem aeternam' of the opening (music which reappears like a leitmotif and closes this remarkable work so hauntingly) to the final ecstatic 'In paradisum', we heard choral singing of the highest order, dramatically moving and often, as in the 'Dies Irae', shattering in its effect.
"The Uninvited," named for the classic ghost-story film that becomes the story's leitmotif, is about a woman taking a pregnancy test, and the circumstances that led to it.
A leitmotif in the book is an assertion of the ancient rhetorician Demetrius comparing the members in a periodic style to the stones "supporting and holding together a vaulted dome." Unfortunately, this passage does not seem to be known to the Renaissance authors under discussion, but Eriksen proceeds in his introduction to emphasize Augustine's use of periodic constructions in certainly influential writings and, more importantly, his ascription of religious significance to such structuring, as symbolic of -- and instantiating -- cosmic order.
While use of the leitmotif has indeed been ubiquitous in film music, I am not really sure we needed a whole section on this topic.
The notion of equivocation, what Garnet calls "opening the mind to simultaneous possibilities and deciding to protect them both," runs as a leitmotif throughout the novel.
The constant unpredictability of the music biz sounds a leitmotif throughout.
The leitmotif is the impact of electronic media and digitization (including CAD) on dissolving boundaries, effortlessly engaging dwellers with the world outside in cyberspace, and permitting complex and dynamic spatial configurations that eschew rigid separation of functions within the house.
The changes are minor, apart from Malakhov's introduction of a white veil; this turns up later as a sort of leitmotif (similar to the veil the witch Madge prepares to cause the death of La Sylphide), finally to assume its bloody color.
Whatever humbug, exploitation, or imposture resided in modern celebrations (and there was plenty), alienation was only one leitmotif in a larger chorus of affirmation." (p.
No more happy land with its own music, her mother's smile its leitmotif. And no more hiding the truth about her marriage.
"It is normal for a new government to blame certain issues on the previous government but this should not become a leitmotif," stated Saxe-Coburg.
QUANTUM MECHANICS SHOULD BE banned as a leitmotif for writers.