Motif

Mo"tif

(?), n. [F.] Motive. [archaic]
[1913 Webster]

2. In literature and the fine arts, a salient feature or element of a composition or work; esp., the theme, or central or dominant feature; specif. (Music), a motive{3}. See also leitmotif.
[Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]

This motif, of old things lost, is a favorite one for the serious ballade.
R. M. Alden.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]

The design . . . is . . . based on the peacock -- a motif favored by decorative artists of all ages.
R. D. Benn.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]

3. (Dressmaking) A decorative appliqu design or figure, as of lace or velvet, used in trimming; also, a repeated design.
[Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]

 

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Sat 15th December 2018