A motif is a recurring fragment, theme or pattern that appears in a work of art. In the past the term motif was commonly associated with Islamic designs, but it also alludes to a theme or symbol that returns time and again, like the noose, cigarette and lightbulb in the work of American figurative painter Philip Guston; or a pattern, like the abstract drawings of the mid-twentieth-century abstract painter Victor Pasmore. The general definition of a motif across the arts, including music, literature, and visual art, is a distinctive feature or dominant idea that recurs throughout a composition. Visual arts such as.
Connoisseurs of art, this one's for you! Motif is a word that is most commonly used in creative fields like visual arts, literature, and design.
The term describes any key idea whaf is emphasized in a creative piece through consistent repetition. The depiction of a motif can what is a hackamore bridle obvious, such as in a series of paintings that all portray a common theme, e.
However, they are also frequently understated, like very slight gradations in the blue colors of a room that are meant to allude to the ocean. Often, a motif will form a subtle basis for the work of which it is a part; in this case, the motif is usually a key concept that the artist or designer feels is essential and wishes to represent through the immediate sensory experiences engendered by the piece. In the fields of interior design and landscaping, motifs often have a practical use.
Rather than representing a critical idea, as in the artistic sense, the use of motif in these areas can sometimes describe a common set of elements that bring up a specific emotional response. For instance, arranging furniture in certain ways can alternatively create feelings of space or intimacy; similarly, a motif of primary colors in a flowerbed might be intended to make visitors feel excited.
Another, much less common usage of motif is in medicine and life sciences. In this area, motif describes a repeating or idiosyncratic pattern in a biological structure, such as an amino acid chain. Example: Although the film's motif of running water was meant to symbolize the inevitability of change, it also provided a haunting whay.
Example: To reflect his interest in science, the young boy's bedroom had been decorated with an outer-space motif. Example: A recurring arrangement of nucleotides in a sample of How to develop a knowledge management roadmap is known in biology as a sequence motif.
English borrows motif directly from French, where the word means "a dominant subject or idea. The other branch would become the current French and, by the mid-nineteenth century, English understanding of motif as an important recurring theme. Bring out the linguist in you! What is your own interpretation of motif. Did you use motif in a game? Provide an example sentence or a literary quote. Whta English borrows motif directly from French, where the word means "a dominant subject or idea.
A repeating pattern showing the famous trio of drummer boy, jn player, and lame old man. Here, motif refers to a repeating visual pattern on the wallpaper. Mnemonic Many artists are motivated to create motifs in their work. Motivating motif on the wall.
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Themes are similar but also different from motifs in that themes are ideas conveyed by the visual experience as a whole, while motifs are repeated symbols found inside an overarching theme. Simply having a repeating pattern or motif does not necessarily mean that that motif is the theme of the work of art, as the theme could be much broader. In works of art, a motif is an important and noticeable element or feature that typically appears throughout the work. It can relate to the theme, or it can be the dominant or central idea itself. Concepts like betrayal and forgiveness can be motifs, for example, but so can particular images and sounds, such as trees or . motif in Arts topic. From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. motif. mo?tif /m???ti?f $ mo?-/ noun [ countable] 1. A AGAIN. an idea, subject, or image that is regularly repeated and developed in a book, film, work of art etc The theme of creation is a recurrent motif in Celtic mythology. 2. PATTERN.
In works of art, a motif is an important and noticeable element or feature that typically appears throughout the work. It can relate to the theme, or it can be the dominant or central idea itself. Concepts like betrayal and forgiveness can be motifs, for example, but so can particular images and sounds, such as trees or bells. Motif is also commonly applied in design, where it typically refers to a single or repeated pattern or color. A piece of fabric might have a floral motif; a room may have a black and white motif.
Motif can also appear in scientific contexts, especially in biochemistry, where it refers to a distinctive molecular sequence or structural element that is usually recurrent. Leitmotif also and formerly more commonly spelled leitmotiv has its origins in opera, and is especially associated with Wagnerian opera. The word is from the German words leit and Motif , which translate respectively as "leading" and "motive.
The term is now applied in other kinds of music, sometimes with a meaning very close to the original: "The Imperial March" that is heard in the Star Wars film franchise whenever Darth Vader appears on screen, for example, is a modern example of leitmotif.
Leitmotif also has extended use that treads the same territory as motif. It's not a common word, but when it is applied it often refers to a dominant recurring theme, as when an image consistently used in an artist's works is described as a leitmotif. Note that some people object when leitmotif is modified by a word like main or dominant , on the grounds that since German leit means "leading" the phrase is redundant. English speakers using leitmotif in English, however, may choose to ignore the objection since leit does not mean "leading" in English.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'motif. Send us feedback. French, motive, motif, from Middle French — more at motive. See more words from the same year. Accessed 24 Apr.
See the full definition for motif in the English Language Learners Dictionary. Nglish: Translation of motif for Spanish Speakers. Britannica English: Translation of motif for Arabic Speakers. What made you want to look up motif? Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!
You've waited days, weeks, months, even years for What's the difference? Two words of uncertainty. We're intent on clearing it up. We're gonna stop you right there. How to use a word that literally drives some pe The awkward case of 'his or her'. Can you correctly identify these flowers? Which of these things doesn't belong?
Test your visual vocabulary with our question Login or Register. Save Word. Definition of motif. Cisneros doesn't present too many nice guys here, and the perfidy of men is a motif in several of the stories. Guttmacher and Francis S. Other Words from motif Synonyms What exactly is a motif?
And how is it different from a leitmotif? More Example Sentences Learn More about motif. Keep scrolling for more. Synonyms for motif Synonyms content , matter , motive , question , subject , theme , topic Visit the Thesaurus for More. What exactly is a motif? Examples of motif in a Sentence … a hip awareness of its own cheesy implausibility, right down to the music: The thunderously orchestrated score uses "Itsy Bitsy Spider" as a motif.
Cantor , Gilligan Unbound , The first-class scowl, shaved head and scars on his right shoulder and biceps fit the tough-guy motif , but it's a facade. Recent Examples on the Web One popular motif was a picture of an empty chair, echoing the way the Nobel Prize committee honored Mr. Liu at the ceremony. John wearing an American-flag motif dress and carrying a triumphant sword, said that the symbolism seems off-base since the election of President Donald Trump. First Known Use of motif , in the meaning defined at sense 1.
History and Etymology for motif French, motive, motif, from Middle French — more at motive. Learn More about motif. Time Traveler for motif The first known use of motif was in See more words from the same year. From the Editors at Merriam-Webster. Statistics for motif Look-up Popularity. Style: MLA. More Definitions for motif. English Language Learners Definition of motif.
Medical Definition of motif. Comments on motif What made you want to look up motif? Show Comments Hide Comments. Get Word of the Day daily email! Test Your Vocabulary. Test your visual vocabulary with our question challenge! Anagram puzzles meet word search. Love words? Need even more definitions? We're intent on clearing it up 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'? We're gonna stop you right there Literally How to use a word that literally drives some pe Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice?
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