Definition of topic in US English:



  • 1A matter dealt with in a text, discourse, or conversation; a subject.

    ‘sleep deprivation became a frequent topic of conversation’
    • ‘For Edinburgh residents, a safe place to park the car became the main topic of conversation.’
    • ‘The main topic of conversation on the doorstep was the European election campaign.’
    • ‘His eating habits were also a topic of conversation amongst those who dined with him!’
    • ‘Practically the only topic of conversation is the dreaded eviction and crowd reception.’
    • ‘Good form, in fact, is not to try to initiate any topics of conversation yourself at all.’
    • ‘The latest morale-boosting victory was the sole topic of conversation at the event.’
    • ‘Whether or not it's going to snow tomorrow is the only topic of conversation today.’
    • ‘I never noticed it come up as a topic of conversation at work or with friends, either.’
    • ‘Manar says this is a frequent topic of conversation at school following clashes.’
    • ‘Turn the top card of the draw pile and place it next to the draw pile to set the current topic and begin the conversation.’
    • ‘The conversation turns to other topics, but by that point I've drifted off into my own thoughts.’
    • ‘One of the topics of my lunch conversation with Ollie yesterday was Physics.’
    • ‘Upon his favourite topic of discourse, it is said that he was quite unable to bear contradiction.’
    • ‘Talking about alcohol also provides an easy topic of conversation while getting drunk.’
    • ‘Where to go on holiday, parenting advice and bad days at work are among the other hot topics of conversation.’
    • ‘Inevitably in dealing with such large topics some of the discussions are far too abbreviated.’
    • ‘I was talking to a Canadian guy last week and one of the topics of conversation was language.’
    • ‘It was inevitable that it should be the topic of conversation as we ate in Pizza Express.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, one of the topics of conversation was to be the new guy asleep in the corner.’
    • ‘Oh, this has been the main topic of conversation in emails flying back and forth this afternoon.’
    subject, subject matter, theme, issue, matter, point, talking point, question, concern, argument, discussion, thesis, text, concept, field, area, keynote, leitmotif
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Linguistics That part of a sentence about which something is said, typically the first major constituent.
      • ‘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’.