Definition Essay Topics for Your Excellent Academic Writing

Definition Essay Topics for Your Excellent Academic Writing
Table of Contents
  1. Definition Essay Topics for Your Excellent Academic Writing
  2. What is a definition essay?
  3. What Is the Difference between Definition and Definition Essay
  4. How to Choose a Topic for a Definition Essay
  5. Steps to writing a definition essay
  6. How to write a definition essay in 1-2-3: Preparation tips
  7. Structure of a definition essay: outline, topic choice, suitable topics
  8. Preparing a definition essay outline
  9. Writing of an essay paper introduction
  10. Definition essay thesis statement
  11. A Body of an essay definition paragraph by paragraph
  12. The conclusion of a definition essay
  13. Definition essay examples: Scientific terms explained!
  14. Voltage
  15. The Doppler effect
  16. Newton’s law of gravity
  17. 100 brilliant college definition essay topics
  18. Definition essay topics for college
  19. Definition argument essay topics
  20. Extended definition essay topics
  21. Common topics for a definition essay
  22. Happiness definition essay
  23. Freedom definition essay
  24. Family definition essay
  25. Definition essay on love
  26. Easy definition essay topics list
  27. Example of definition essay topics: Bonus ideas
  28. Writing definition essay: Outro

Let us imagine that you face a situation when the particular essay item is completely new to you. It can be interesting or not; it may relate to your studies or work. In any case, it is better to fulfill your vocabulary by exploring the topics for an essay paper and revealing new knowledge in a separate type of academic writing – a definition essay paper. This essay paper topics along with some great examples listed in this expert article will help to get acquainted with this sort of writing.

These days a definition essay is not a complicated type of task, but if a student finds it hard for many reasons, he/she may contact professional online writing service to let it solve a homework essay paper assignment on any topic.

What is a definition essay?

A definition of this essay paper sounds like a tautology. ‘What is a definition essay paper?’ is the initial question to answer if you want to master one more tricky type of academic writing. An essay paper of this type is an academic essay paper writing, which serves as a detailed dictionary entry, which takes minimum half of a page long. These days dictionaries provide brief explanations of words. This type of academic essay assignment makes them longer. Add some vivid examples from real life and supporting evidence to the essay paper after the clear description of the target term. Experts recommend developing an essay paper of this type on a word that belongs to one of the given groups:

It is not a good idea to write explanation essay papers on the words with narrow, specific meanings like “bread” or “bed.” Try something broad instead. Choose words like “freedom” or “beauty” to interpret. In the essay provide all possible meanings of these terms, including personal interpretation; add examples from personal experience, and share the opinions of other people. The 1st thing to include in the essay is an official dictionary’s explanation. Pick the topics for the essay paper that exist without any doubts.

Usually, such type of an essay paper assignment is not complicated to write these days. It is smaller than any other type of writing task; it has a single goal – to explain what the term stands for, and it requires no arguments to convince the audience in the author’s position (unless the writer tries to persuade his personal explanation of word is the most accurate one). These days a student can include both official explanation and his own ideas regarding the given term into an essay. That is how such an essay can occupy one whole page.

What Is the Difference between Definition and Definition Essay

That is quite a logical question, and many students don't understand why to write a whole essay on the definition. The difference between a simple definition and a definition essay is as follows. A definition is a short and most commonly used explanation of a term, notion or phenomenon. A definition essay provides more detailed information, all the possible definitions of a term, with its denotative and connotative meanings. It also provides an explanation of its uses and meanings in different contexts.

How to Choose a Topic for a Definition Essay

Choosing a topic is not an easy task, especially for such a specific type of essay. If the professor has assigned you a topic, it's great! All you need is just start writing. However, if choosing a definition essay topic is up to you, try to do the following:
  1. First, think of the class you need this essay for
  2. Brainstorm and choose the topic
  3. If nothing comes to your mind, search for the topics lists online
  4. You may also think of the interesting issues you have discussed in class
  5. Write down up to 5-10 terms and choose the one
  6. Make a research on the choosing topic to find out whether there is enough information to complete your essay
  7. If the topic is too broad, you may discuss only some definitions, collocations with this definition, or its use in a specific context.

Steps to writing a definition essay

Begin with selecting a proper topic. The teacher may give several words to discuss to make the definition essay paper writing longer. A student will barely earn a high grade for paper writing which requires several sentences or even words to describe it. It is better to select complex terms with a broad definition. They should possess a long history and interesting origins - come up with the whole 1-page story for your writing.

Many times, a complicated term with multiple meanings cannot be explained in a sentence or two without sharing vivid examples. Even a full paragraph may not be enough to share the entire sense. Deep writing may demand a lot of words/phrases to describe them - that is when a teacher may give a specific assignment to the class. Look at the detailed description of each essay papers section below.

No matter which of the essay paper topic ideas a writer picks, it works this way:

  1. Select a word for the essay paper to explain (avoid those you do not completely understand), introduce it to the target reading audience. The primary purpose is to outset the contents of the essay.
  2. Apply some primary sources (dictionaries, vocabularies, encyclopedias, textbooks) to see how the majority of the population tend to explain the chosen term. Combine/merge the offered definitions during single essay paper writing.
  3. Reveal the selected item in the essay paper introduction writing.
  4. Deliver the detailed information about the chosen term(s) in the 2-3 body paragraphs, logically united with the help of various transition words. Stress any typical mistakes in the other meanings of the term.
  5. Decide on several sound examples to depict and interpret the explanation of your own.

How to write a definition essay in 1-2-3: Preparation tips

These days for an assignment each student has to get ready before coming up with the written version of the essay paper. It won't take too much time. First of all, you need to treat your writing properly. The best approach is to consider your writing a little exam. Indeed, every essay paper is a test of your writing skills. So, you need to recall all exam preparation tips and tricks.

If your teacher does not provide you with the essay paper writing clues, begin with exploring all possible topic ideas. We would like to share several hints that will help to make a decision and get ready!

  • Select your word for an essay paper wisely. There is no chance of writing a hefty essay on a simple word with an obvious or single definition. While making your decision, try to be meticulous. Avoid including nouns or verbs. What we mean is that you won't write too much about the words like "bed"; or "dress." Of course, you can use all your imagination, but it will only lead to wordiness. However, if you choose some process to analyze, you may come up with several good essay topics. You may select "painting" or "observing." They are more or less subjective so that you can give it a try!
  • Pick only terms with multiple definitions for an essay. You can find many multi-dimensional words in every language. Select words that have a lot of synonyms like "gorgeous" or "fight." People tend to perceive such words differently – it is your chance to stand out!
  • Ignore words that are universal in every culture in your essay writing (these words can be “hi”, “café”, or “telephone”).
  • Do you get the explanation of the term in the essay paper? If not, it is better to switch to another one. Keep in mind that teachers want to see some examples drawn from student's own life instead of reading pages of definitions only. Explore all dictionaries to check your choice.
  • Conduct historical research to understand the origins of your term.
  • Turn to the Oxford Dictionary or another official dictionary to find the full interpretation of the term for an essay.

Structure of a definition essay: outline, topic choice, suitable topics

The section of this definition essay writing guide discusses several basic elements. From how to write an essay paper introduction to the transition words for the essay paper, we will share everything necessary to know about this type of assignment.

Preparing a definition essay outline

Even though this essay paper is smaller than other types of essays, it may still have an outline. The volume of writing depends on the complexity of the chosen term or phrase. Choose a whole phrase, idiom, or proverb to talk about in your essay, and remember: some words are truly logical and simple to explain. At the same time, some writing demands in-depth research and investigation to formulate an exact representation of their meaning.

Every academic essay should obey the following well-known structure:

  • Essay introduction
  • Thesis statement (even though it is part of the intro)
  • Body paragraphs (2-3 paragraphs)
  • Essay conclusion
  • Works Cited (usually, such type of an essay is done in MLA)

You may read more about writing an outline in this article.

Writing of an essay paper introduction

An introduction must contain a dictionary (official) explanation of the selected writing approaches of a paper, which a student can find in the English dictionaries on the needed page. It is possible to search on the web to avoid paperwork. When a correct definition (or several interpretations) pops up, try to make them concise and clear before implementing it into your introduction. Choose the best meaning concerning your essay paper context. Decide in which light you would like to discuss the chosen writing style (example: words like “frenemies” have 2 sides of a coin, representing positive (friends) and negative (enemies) at the same time).

If a student does not want to start the essay paper writing with the direct definition, a hook may open the essay paper. A hook is a catchy sentence added to attract the reader’s attention to the essay. In the definition essay it can be a:

  • Fact
  • Statistics
  • Simile
  • Metaphor
  • Literary quote
  • Famous people quotations
  • Joke
  • Anecdote
  • Dogma

Writing items like "love" and "hate" are excellent choices as it is impossible to define them in short. There is no specific explanation of these words. A student may involve a universal interpretation of one of these words; include the offers from the dictionaries, and add a few words describing the personal understanding of the essay. Such type of writing does not need a regular thesis.

Find more topics below or have a look at the excellent examples of definition essays online from the academic experts.

Definition essay thesis statement

The only thing you should keep in mind which makes this type of essay different is whether you deal with the standard or thesis definition. According to a thesis essay paper, it is the main argument of the entire essay paper writing, and it goes in the last sentences of introduction.

You may include both into an essay to get the full credit. The first type of definition is the one taken from the official sources like dictionaries. It is an important starting point. As for thesis definition, this sentence involves the full version of what the writing item of an essay paper means. Mix standard explanation with your own experience plus the usage of the term - it is all about writing a good essay introduction.

An essay of this type does not need a regular essay paper thesis statement because there is nothing a student should prove about the topic of the essay. The main idea is just to explain the term. Decide on the most accurate meaning discovered in the dictionaries. If you decide to come up with an essay thesis statement while working on the essay explaining the meaning of words, keep in mind it should be:

  • Concise
  • Clear
  • To-the-point
  • No longer than 2 sentences

Here is an example of a thesis statement:

Naturalism regarding literature is a specific perception of the real world: everything going on and surrounding people looks like an experiment of nature.

The author mentions that this definition works for the literary aspect. It means the writing item of the paper has other interpretations based on the different subjects.

A Body of an essay definition paragraph by paragraph

A body of an essay definition has an original structure compared to the argumentative/persuasive essays. In opposition to a research essay writing, in a definition essay, a student has to share various points that constitute the explanation of the chosen word/term. Background information is not obligatory – just check whether every separate idea has a separate paragraph and stick to the essay structure below.

  • Claim #1: Include the 1st element of the explanation. Provide an in-depth analysis of how the offered example(s) substantiates the meaning of the world.
  • Claim #2: It will be the next aspect of writing + supporting examples of the essay paper.
  • Claim #3: In case the writing item of an essay paper has more than 2 meanings (bark, jam, mine, and more), list one more definition. It will be a typical 5-paragraph essay.

Also, the essay body must contain:

  • History and origin
  • Complete dictionary explanation and usage
  • Personal interpretation

The conclusion of a definition essay

There is nothing special about the conclusion of an essay paper – summarize multiple meanings of the same word or remind of the basic definitions of several simple words discussed in the essay paper.

An essay conclusion must contain a summary & analysis of the mentioned points. The good idea is to explain the way specific term influences the author’s life; return the hook sentence and thesis statement from the introduction to finish the essay, but reword both sentences.

Definition essay examples: Scientific terms explained!

Are you looking for some great definition essay examples? Example:


Scientists use electrical circuits for passing signals, saving data, conducting calculations; the primary goal is to manipulate energy. A voltage is…

Do not start with the explanation from the dictionary directly. If you do, paraphrase the offered definition to avoid problems with plagiarism in the essay.

The Doppler effect

Pretend the wave pattern created by the tip of a fluctuating rod, which moves across the water. In case the rod had been vibrating in a single…

Once again, professional writers avoid starting explanation essays with the direct definitions of the selected term. Experts recommend choosing scientific terms to interpret.

Newton’s law of gravity

Kepler’s laws were not enough to explain the way planets live and move, so Newton came up with some other perfect interpretations of the Solar System’s work.

100 brilliant college definition essay topics

The article has mentioned some of the great essay writing ideas to discuss & explain in an essay paper. Grab more excellent essay paper topics divided into several categories to make it easier.

Definition essay topics for college

  1. Healthy living: The difference between bad and good habits.
  2. Worthy job: Factors that influence employee’s satisfaction.
  3. Skills and experience a qualified college professor should possess.
  4. The necessity of the second language (Spanish, French, or German?).
  5. Factors that predetermine a happy marriage, which will last for a while.
  6. How most of the modern teenagers define the concept of platonic love.
  7. College degree: How it matters in the life of each student.
  8. Winning college application: Magic words to impress the admission officers.
  9. Rock’n’roll, democracy, anarchy, and other words associated with the freedom of choice.
  10. Mobile apps for education and video games to speed up the learning process.

Definition argument essay topics

  1. Things every employee should contribute to the development of corporate social responsibility.
  2. Several to define whether the last elections were fair or not.
  3. Factors that lead to the obvious racial segregation in the United States.
  4. Death penalty (list pros & cons after the explanation).
  5. Cheating on the examinations and tests: Something out of control.
  6. Massive murders: Causes, outcomes, and prevention measures.
  7. Cigarette smoking: Healthcare professionals definition of the problem.
  8. Using cell phones and other electronic devices in class: Two sides of a coin.
  9. English as an official language in the United States.
  10. Creationism: Reasons why it may become a new school subject.

Extended definition essay topics

  1. Self-assurance, self-control, self-development - what’s in common?
  2. Do people in the United States know what freedom is?
  3. Generosity: Who can be considered generous in the modern world?
  4. Proves that government and FBI violate our right to privacy.
  5. Five factors that determine whether a person can be called modest.
  6. Several medical symptoms of a healthy appetite.
  7. Definition of laziness and effective ways to overcome this bad habit.
  8. True friendship compared to hostility these days (along with the explanation of what frenemy is).
  9. Bad coach and the adverse consequences of improper training.
  10. Measures of punishment associated with the caring parents.

Common topics for a definition essay

  1. The traits of a true hero: Analyzing Superman, Iron Man, and some other guys.
  2. Describing success on the example of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.
  3. The eternal, powerful, never-ending, undefined feeling of love.
  4. Different interpretations of beauty as compared to ugliness these days.
  5. The best definition of respect based on what your granny told you.
  6. The definition of loyalty grabbed from the stories of McDonald’s customers.
  7. What courage means to different types of people these days.
  8. Which features should a true friend possess to trust him/her?
  9. The nature of hate: Is it the most destructive feeling in the world?
  10. How come some people living in poverty call it a comfort?

Happiness definition essay

  1. The way each human defines happiness: A universal meaning.
  2. Happiness, kindness, excitement, and other positive psychologies these days.
  3. What makes happiness: living with the one you love having no material goods or living with a rich person without having a sympathy?
  4. Can we say that money and other material goods make one happy?
  5. How do modern adolescents identify the feeling of happiness these days?
  6. Happiness as a fundamental right for the US citizens that preoccupied their minds.
  7. Defining happiness and several other controversial topics.
  8. Several theories used to describe the feeling of happiness these days.
  9. The religious, biological, and philosophical/psychological basis of happiness these days.
  10. The best definite statements offered to describe happiness.

Freedom definition essay

  1. General meanings of freedom discovered in various dictionaries.
  2. The meaning of freedom to people who work in the factories.
  3. Freedom in the eyes of the 1st-year college student.
  4. The essence of freedom and independence in American society these days.
  5. Defining freedom with the help of the Constitution of the United States.
  6. Life, liberty, and justice - the words related to the term “freedom”.
  7. How the US government should interpret the meaning of freedom.
  8. Freedom for all: Does every human being deserve to be free?
  9. Being free VS being happy: Are these two interrelated?
  10. How comes some prisoners are not eager to become free again?

Family definition essay

  1. Official interpretations of “family” from different dictionaries.
  2. The size of a small, medium, and big family.
  3. Spending a perfect summer with a family: Description with details.
  4. Reflective essay on the role of the family in a student’s life.
  5. Is it possible to call a single parent a complete family?
  6. Are the same-gender families destroying the institution of marriage?
  7. Can the far-far-away relatives be considered part of a family?
  8. A family is a group of people that includes parents, kids, and relatives - Agree/Disagree.
  9. Factors that can make strangers better parents than your native.
  10. The family is a pillar of society, so it makes it valuable.

Definition essay on love

  1. The Oxford American Dictionary interpretation of love.
  2. Love as the strongest and most unexplored feeling in the world.
  3. Harmonization of personality through mutual love and respect.
  4. Love is not another fairy tale with no adverse manifestations.
  5. adoration, desire, and respect - the qualities of love.
  6. The love between man and woman compared to love between people of the same gender.
  7. Are the same-gender relationships destroying the concept of love?
  8. Can young people aged 16 or less fall in love and save this feeling forever?
  9. Is it possible to love several people of the opposite gender at the same time?
  10. The way your parents define the word love (make the difference between love and passion).

Easy definition essay topics list

  1. Traits that make a university professor a field expert.
  2. Living with the roommate on campus: Features that make him/her good.
  3. Factors that predetermine excellent emotional health.
  4. Anti-Semitism and other controversial religions of the world.
  5. Things in our life that can be characterized as humanely.
  6. Interpret the term “phase” in relation to homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures.
  7. Acting and pretending: Hints to detect the pretender from the 1st sight.
  8. Explain the meaning of the words: onomatopoeia, assonance, and alliteration.
  9. Defining and describing several movements in contemporary art.
  10. Male chauvinism and the way it is perceived by the feminists

Example of definition essay topics: Bonus ideas

  1. The importance of time management in college and at the workplace.
  2. Factors that may lead young people to depression.
  3. Having a sense of humor: Pros & cons of joking in various life situations.
  4. The traits a human should possess to be called a good person.
  5. Team player and teamwork: The signs every member contributed to the common goal.
  6. Living to fulfill the American Dream: The possible waste of time.
  7. Political correctness as a tool to prevent various world conflicts.
  8. Methods used to achieve career goals in the chosen field.
  9. Dream career: Wages, conditions, working hours, and other features.
  10. The characteristics of a person who deserves to be called the Great.

You have seen the most common samples of essay topics students choose when receiving definition essay tasks. You may face one of these assignments on the test or as your coursework. There is no limit - a lot of writing items of an essay paper have multiple, deep meanings and interpretations for your assignment these days.

The purpose is to select the term, which you feel comfortable with and which seems interesting to you and people around. Avoid typical essay mistakes and pitfalls. You can become a writing artist with the help of your pen or computer only within several days!

Writing definition essay: Outro

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