Definition of topos in English:

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topos

Pronunciation: /ˈtōpōs/

noun (plural topoi /-poi/)

A traditional theme or formula in literature.
Example sentences
  • These are traditional Renaissance topoi of the fortune-telling of the natural world; nonetheless, they underscore the patriarchal view of Egypt's troubles as stemming, naturally, from women.
  • Irony has a critical function against an empty or insipid Romanticism and romantic topoi, for instance the Parisian dream and, moreover, the Orient that has become a commonplace.
  • Perhaps most usefully, however, the book offers a repertoire of rhetorical suggestions, topoi for the specific topic of rhetoric (hence the Aristotelian force of the title-it is a Rhetoric of Rhetoric for rhetoricians).

Origin

1940s: from Greek, literally 'place'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: to·pos

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