See also: thème

English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English teme, from Old French teme, tesme (French thème), from Latin thema, from Ancient Greek θέμα (théma), from τίθημι (títhēmi, I put, place), reduplicative from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeh₁- (to put, place, do) (whence also English do). Doublet of thema.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /θiːm/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: theme
  • Rhymes: -iːm (for all senses)
  • Rhymes: -iːmi (for the sense dealing with the Byzantine empire only) (Can we verify(+) this pronunciation?)

Noun edit

theme (plural themes)

  1. A subject, now especially of a talk or an artistic piece; a topic.
    • 1828, James Hogg, Mary Burnet:
      "Had not you once a beautiful daughter, named Mary?" said the stranger.
      "It is a heartrending question, man," said Andrew; "but certes, I had once a beloved daughter named Mary."
      "What became of her?" asked the stranger.
      Andrew shook his head, turned round, and began to move away; it was a theme that his heart could not brook.
  2. A recurring idea; a motif.
    1. A concept with multiple instantiations.
      variations on the theme of entrepreneurial resourcefulness
    2. Any of various colors, or color palettes, in which a design is offered; (graphical user interface) any of various skins for an app, affecting the visuals and perhaps other elements such as sound effects.
      switch to a dark theme to conserve battery power
      Synonym: colorway
  3. (dated) An essay written for school.
    • 1917, James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man:
      Father Dolan came in today and pandied me because I was not writing my theme.
    • 1979, Tri-Quarterly, numbers 46-47, page 273:
      [] his themes and exercises were in constant demand for what we called cogging and American students rather grandly called plagiarization.
  4. (music) The main melody of a piece of music, especially one that is the source of variations.
  5. (film, television) A song, or a snippet of a song, that identifies a film, a TV program, a character, etc. by playing at the appropriate time.
  6. (grammar) The stem of a word.
  7. (linguistics) thematic relation of a noun phrase to a verb.
  8. (linguistics) Theta role in generative grammar and government and binding theory.
  9. (linguistics) Topic, what is generally being talked about, as opposed to rheme.
  10. A regional unit of organisation in the Byzantine empire.

Related terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb edit

theme (third-person singular simple present themes, present participle theming, simple past and past participle themed)

  1. (transitive) To give a theme to.
    We themed the birthday party around superheroes.
  2. (computing, transitive) To apply a theme to; to change the visual appearance and/or layout of (software).

References edit

Anagrams edit

Middle English edit

Etymology 1 edit

Noun edit

theme (plural themes)

  1. Alternative form of teme (topic)

Etymology 2 edit

Pronoun edit


  1. Alternative spelling of þeme (them)