Definition of topic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtɒpɪk/


1A matter dealt with in a text, discourse, or conversation; a subject: her favourite topic of conversation is her partner
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, one of the topics of conversation was to be the new guy asleep in the corner.
  • The conversation turns to other topics, but by that point I've drifted off into my own thoughts.
  • Where to go on holiday, parenting advice and bad days at work are among the other hot topics of conversation.
subject, subject matter, theme, issue, matter, point, talking point, question, concern, argument, discussion, thesis, text, concept, field, area, keynote, leitmotif
1.1 Linguistics That part of a sentence about which something is said, typically the first major constituent.
Example sentences
  • First, the empty topic is in general a discourse rather than a sentence phenomenon.
  • The reviewer is perforce required to deal with major themes and how topics within them are treated.


Late 15th century (originally denoting a set or book of general rules or ideas): from Latin topica, from Greek ta topika, literally 'matters concerning commonplaces' (the title of a treatise by Aristotle), from topos 'a place'.

  • commonplace from mid 16th century:

    This was originally written common place, a translation of Latin locus communis, rendering Greek koinos topos ‘general theme’, terms for a passage on which a speaker could base an argument. In the past people would keep commonplace books of such passages, and the quoting of these no doubt led to the modern sense of the word. Topic (Late Middle English) was originally a word for a set or book of general rules or ideas. It comes from Latin topica, from Greek ta topika, meaning literally ‘matters concerning commonplaces’ (the title of a treatise by Aristotle). Early use was as a term in logic and rhetoric describing a rule or argument as ‘applicable in most but not all cases’. See also utopia. Common itself (Middle English) comes via French from Latin communis ‘common, general’ also the source of commune (late 17th century), communism (mid 19th century), communication, communion, and community [all LME].

Words that rhyme with topic

ectopic, gyroscopic, heliotropic, horoscopic, isotopic, isotropic, kaleidoscopic, macroscopic, microscopic, misanthropic, myopic, philanthropic, phototropic, telescopic, tropic

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: topic

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