1. In writing, a motif is a recurring symbol.
2. a decorative design or pattern.
"T-shirts featuring spiral motifs"
synonyms: design, pattern, decoration, figure, shape, device, emblem, ornament
"a colorful tulip___________"
3. a distinctive feature or dominant idea in an artistic or literary composition.
"the nautical motif of his latest novel"
synonyms: theme, idea, concept, subject, topic, leitmotif, element; through line
"a recurring ___________ in her work"