Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The subject of a speech, essay, thesis, or discourse.
  • n. A subject of discussion or conversation.
  • n. A subdivision of a theme, thesis, or outline. See Synonyms at subject.
  • n. Linguistics A word or phrase in a sentence, usually providing information from previous discourse or shared knowledge, that the rest of the sentence elaborates or comments on. Also called theme.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. topical
  • n. Subject; theme; a category or general area of interest.
  • n. discussion thread

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Topical.
  • n. One of the various general forms of argument employed in probable as distinguished from demonstrative reasoning, -- denominated by Aristotle to`poi (literally, places), as being the places or sources from which arguments may be derived, or to which they may be referred; also, a prepared form of argument, applicable to a great variety of cases, with a supply of which the ancient rhetoricians and orators provided themselves; a commonplace of argument or oratory.
  • n. A treatise on forms of argument; a system or scheme of forms or commonplaces of argument or oratory.
  • n. An argument or reason.
  • n. The subject of any distinct portion of a discourse, or argument, or literary composition; also, the general or main subject of the whole; a matter treated of; a subject, as of conversation or of thought; a matter; a point; a head.
  • n. An external local application or remedy, as a plaster, a blister, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Local: same as topical.
  • n. In logic and rhetoric, a common place (which see, under common); a class of considerations from which probable arguments can be drawn.
  • n. The subject of a discourse, argument, or literary composition, or the subject of any distinct part of a discourse, etc.; any matter treated of: now the usual meaning of the word.
  • n. In medicine, a remedy locally applied.
  • n. Synonyms Theme, Point, etc. See subject.
  • n. plural In geometry, topology. See topics, 2.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the subject matter of a conversation or discussion
  • n. some situation or event that is thought about

Etymologies

Obsolete topic, rhetorical argument, sing. of Topics, title of a work by Aristotle, from Latin Topica, from Greek Topika, commonplaces, from neuter pl. of topikos, of a place, from topos, place.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin topica, from Ancient Greek τοπικός (topikos, "pertaining to a place, local, pertaining to a common place, or topic, topical"), from τόπος (topos, "a place"). (Wiktionary)

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