1. In music drama, a marked melodic phrase or short passage which always accompanies the reappearance of a certain person, situation, abstract idea, or allusion in the course of the play; a sort of musical label.
2. A dominant and recurring theme.
"As is so often the case in a crazy household . . . guilt becomes a leitmotif."
— Frederick Busch, "My Brother, Myself", New York Times, February 9, 1997
Thanks to Constant Comment for today's WOTD entry
Wednesday, July 23, 2008