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See also: thème


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  • IPA(key): /θiːm/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːm (for all senses; incorrectly used in some cases instead of the second pronunciation)
  • Rhymes: -iːmi (for the sense dealing with the Byzantine empire only)


PIE root

From Old French 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).


theme ‎(plural themes)

  1. A subject of a talk or an artistic piece; a topic.
  2. A recurring idea; a motif.
  3. (music) The main melody of a piece of music, especially one that is the source of variations.
  4. (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.
  5. (computing, figuratively) The collection of color schemes, sounds, artwork etc., that "skin" an environment towards a particular motif.
  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]


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

  1. (computing, transitive) To apply a theme to; to change the visual appearance and/or layout of (software).