a subject of discourse, discussion, meditation, or composition; topic: The need for world peace was the theme of the meeting.
a unifying or dominant idea, motif, etc., as in a work of art.
a short, informal essay, especially a school composition.
a principal melodic subject in a musical composition.
a short melodic subject from which variations are developed.
Grammar. the element common to all or most of the forms of an inflectional paradigm, often consisting of a root with certain formative elements or modifications. Compare stem1 ( def 16 ).
Linguistics, topic ( def 4 ).
Also, thema. an administrative division of the Byzantine Empire.
having a unifying theme: a theme restaurant decorated like a spaceship.
verb (used with object), themed, theming.
to provide with a theme.

1250–1300; Middle English teme, theme (< Old French teme) < Medieval Latin thema, Latin < Greek théma proposition, deposit, akin to tithénai to put, set down

themeless, adjective
subtheme, noun

1. thesis, text. See subject. 3. paper. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
theme (θiːm)
1.  an idea or topic expanded in a discourse, discussion, etc
2.  (in literature, music, art, etc) a unifying idea, image, or motif, repeated or developed throughout a work
3.  music a group of notes forming a recognizable melodic unit, often used as the basis of the musical material in a composition
4.  a short essay, esp one set as an exercise for a student
5.  linguistics the first major constituent of a sentence, usually but not necessarily the subject. In the sentence history I do like, "history" is the theme of the sentence, even though it is the object of the verb
6.  grammar root another word for stem
7.  (in the Byzantine Empire) a territorial unit consisting of several provinces under a military commander
8.  (modifier) planned or designed round one unifying subject, image, etc: a theme holiday
9.  (tr) to design, decorate, arrange, etc, in accordance with a theme
[C13: from Latin thema, from Greek: deposit, from tithenai to lay down]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from O.Fr. tesme (13c., with silent -s-), from L. thema "a subject, thesis," from Gk. thema "a proposition, subject, deposit," lit. "something set down," from root of tithenai "put down, place," from PIE base *dhe- "to put, to do" (see factitious). Extension to
music first recorded 1674; theme song first attested 1929. Theme park is from 1960.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

theme definition

A central idea in a piece of writing or other work of art: “The theme of desperation is found throughout his novels.” Also a short composition assigned to a student as a writing exercise.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Starting this fall, you can stay in one of the inn's reopened western-themed
The huge amount of diverse talent in paleo-themed art and illustration today
  does nothing bad to science.
Tiki-themed restaurants and clubs sprang up throughout the country.
When users reach a road in the fantasy-themed game, they can cross at
  designated safe spots and must look both ways for monsters.
Related Words
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