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Motif may refer to:

Art, entertainment, and media[edit]

Creative works[edit]

  • Motif (folkloristics), a recurring element that creates recognizable patterns in folklore and folk-art traditions
  • Motif (music), a perceivable or salient recurring fragment or succession of notes
  • Motif (narrative), any recurring element in a story that has symbolic significance or the reason behind actions
  • Motif (textile arts), a recurring element or fragment that, when joined together, creates a larger work
  • Motif (visual arts), a repeated theme or pattern



  • Motif (chess composition), an element of a move in the consideration of why the piece moves and how it supports the fulfillment of the problem stipulation

Musical instruments[edit]

  • Yamaha Motif, a series of music workstations, first released by Yamaha Corporation in August 2001


  • Sequence motif, a sequence pattern of nucleotides in a DNA sequence or amino acids in a protein
  • Structural motif, a pattern in a protein structure formed by the spatial arrangement of amino acids

Other uses[edit]

  • Motif (software), a GUI specification and widget toolkit for Unix
  • Network motif, patterns (sub-graphs) that recur within a network much more often than expected at random

See also[edit]