motif motif  /moʊ ˈtif/


  1. (n) a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decoration
  2. (n) a theme that is repeated or elaborated in a piece of music
  3. (n) a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary or artistic work



  1. This is the great search motif of the poem, the quest for an ultimate good.
  2. He dropped the theme-hotel motif and made the hallways low and intimate.
  3. Disorganized and under-rehearsed dancers cavorted around a bizarre stage that married a jungle motif to ancient Egypt hieroglyphics.


  1. Will Jonathan Toews' Selke Trophy Affect His Play in Stanley Cup Final?

    Up to this point, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has ensured that his team defines its 2013 season with a fastidious appetite for hardware. That motivational motif should not experience much of a departure—at least not for the worse—as he comes off a Selke Trophy victory going into the second game of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final . The NHL declared Toews its top defensive forward of the ...
    on June 15, 2013     Source: Bleacher Report

  2. Distrust Sinking Obama

    In the little that President Obama has said publicly about his administration’s recently exposed domestic surveillance programs he has returned to the overall motif of his presidency: warning against excessive distrust of the federal government.
    on June 13, 2013     Source: Fox News

  3. Volunteers make fair impressions

    Marilyn Lindberg and Melissa Meharg watched as Lucille Solaegui taste-tested the colorful cupcake topped with a floral motif.
    on June 13, 2013     Source: The Manteca Bulletin


  1. "Here it's all about white," said Williams, a five-time champion at Wimbledon. "There is no illusion this time. Still had the lace motif. I think it's just a fun, elegant dress."
    on Jun 21, 2010 By: Venus Williams Source: Boston Globe

  2. "In 2006, we predicted that gold atoms in this bonding motif were divided in two groups - those that made the metal core and those that helped to protected it," explained Hakkinen. "Now there was evidence that this was true."
    on Jul 15, 2008 By: Mika Hakkinen Source: Media Newswire (press release)

  3. "Graffiti is just one of those things that destroys our quality of life, and why anybody thinks that it's funny or cute to encourage kids to go do that, I don't know. We have talked to them and asked them to not have a subway car motif to write...
    on Aug 22, 2005 By: Michael Bloomberg Source: BusinessWeek

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ennui ennui
/ɛ ˈnu i /