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You should not slack off when having to choose topics for a definition essay. Focusing on a single meaning of the word is not enough. A writer should view the selected term or phrase from many different aspects, and the prompt should contain more than a single word.

Your definition essay topics should never be boring! Read this post to decide what to discuss in the paper that has to define something. You will find various categories of the subjects to discuss in the paper of this type. If you have any doubts regarding the quality of your written assignment, feel free to contact EssayPro team!


What Is a Definition Essay?

what is a definition essay Before we move on directly to the full definition essay topics list developed by experts, we should recall the main idea of this type of academic assignment.

It is a type of academic essay that shows up as a multilateral English dictionary entry with both official meaning of the word and the writer’s interpretation with examples.

No matter which definition essay topics the writer chooses, the final paper should not exceed one page long. 250-500 words are more than enough for such type of assignment.

While official dictionaries offer short explanations of the terms, a student’s goal is to expand the word’s usage by involving other possible concepts of the analyzed items.

A writer can support the interpretations with the help of examples.

A word may have several meanings, e.g., literary or real-life interpretation.

It is up to the student to choose the angle to observe the selected term, but it is necessary to include official definitions in the opening paragraphs.

How To Choose Definition Essay Topic

Picking the right words for your paper might be challenging.

choose definition essay topic


  • Having a term with a single meaning will not allow you to demonstrate your writing abilities & knowledge of the subject;
  • Offer terms that can be disputed depending on the context;
  • Come up with the list of definition essay words in case your tutor does not assign specific subjects to discuss in your assignments;
  • Think about words with multiple meanings.

Now you know the basics, it is time to observe the list of the top definition essay topics.

100 Definition Essay Topics to Impress

You know the basics now. It is time to observe the list of the top definition essay topics. Our team developed it based on the most successful papers of this type ever submitted at the college level as well as some hot trends. These topics should inspire every student! We divided them into separate categories to make it easier.

Definition Essay on Love

A definition essay on love is the most popular subject when it comes to defining terms in academic papers.

  1. Versatile Feeling of Love
  2. Love vs Hatred
  3. Is there any universal definition of love?
  4. The connection between love and other emotions
  5. The most powerful feeling in the world
  6. Parental love
  7. The romance between man & woman
  8. Devotion to pets
  9. The correlation between love and passion
  10. The consequences of insane love

Happiness Definition Essay

A happiness definition essay is a good option to consider. This word has many interpretations.

  1. Defining happiness based on personal experience
  2. The non-importance of money
  3. Happiness that comes from outside and within
  4. Do money matter?
  5. How can happiness be achieved?
  6. The role of happiness in the life of an average human
  7. Unrealistic expectations
  8. Features of a happy family
  9. Helping people to achieve happiness
  10. The pursuit of happiness

Family Definition Essay

In a family definition essay, you can either define some family values, its members, or other related things. Make it sound personal to achieve the expected result!

  1. Perfect family
  2. Family in my eyes
  3. The 21st-century family
  4. Child marriage
  5. Early parenting
  6. Families with a single child
  7. The impact of family on education & career choice
  8. An aspect of the family in the film “Adam’s Family”
  9. The role of television in family communication
  10. Family values today

Freedom Definition Essay

A freedom definition essay is a popular assignment in the US schools. You may combine history and culture to succeed with this one.

  1. The way US citizens perceive the word freedom in the XXI century
  2. Interpretations of liberty found in various sources
  3. Being free & being truly happy
  4. Prisoners vision of freedom
  5. Free time at work
  6. Having larger school breaks
  7. Explaining the word “freedom” through “slavery”
  8. The movement for freedom
  9. The role of the American Civil War in formulating the term “freedom”
  10. Reasons why people should not obtain full freedom

Definition Argument Essay Topics

In a definition argument essay topics, students should try to pick a debatable term. Here are some of the best ideas!

  1. Pros & cons of using mobile devices in class
  2. Understanding what having two sides of the coin means
  3. Ways to achieve corporate social responsibility
  4. Reasons to include creationism in a school curriculum
  5. Defining fair elections vs unfair one
  6. Thoughts in favor of the death penalty
  7. Crimes that can be called the worst
  8. Cheating on your partner
  9. Racial segregation in the US
  10. An official language in a country

Easy Definition Essay Topics

If you need simple or easy definition essay topics, check it out!

  1. Various interpretations of being ugly
  2. The features of a hero based on Pride and Prejudice characters
  3. Describing success on the example of “Queen” story
  4. Living in poverty from different angles
  5. Traits that every college professor should possess
  6. The feminist movement in the United States
  7. Campus vs home conditions
  8. The role of a university degree in the life of a modern person
  9. Contemporary art
  10. Onomatopoeia, assonance, & alliteration

Extended Definition Essay Topics

In the extended definition essay topics, discuss words with broad meaning only. Avoid terms with a single interpretation.

  1. Measures of punishment parents take to keep a healthy family
  2. Primary symptoms of the healthy weight
  3. Differences & similarities between self-assurance, self-development, & self-management
  4. Traits that make a person generous
  5. Things that prove FBI violates the rights of the US citizens
  6. Bad coaches & the negative consequences of their training
  7. The meaning and usage of the term frenemy
  8. Several factors that identify a person as a selfish one
  9. Methods to cope with laziness and its implications
  10. Detecting the traits of protagonists based on the movies of Marvel

Definition Essay Topics for College

Observe your bonus definition essay topics for college!

  1. The characteristics of the good mental health
  2. Anti-semitism in the post-war world
  3. Humanely things in our life
  4. Male chauvinism
  5. Detecting the copycat from the first sight
  6. The word phase in the context of homogeneous & heterogeneous mixtures
  7. Explaining brand loyalty on the example of WalMart
  8. Trying to understand what respect is
  9. The nature of hate
  10. The best friend

Definition Essay Ideas for Business

Economics, business, & e-commerce have plenty of interesting terms to explain. Some of the best ideas include:

  1. Causes & effects of economic depression
  2. The development of e-commerce
  3. The role of statistics in business
  4. How to define an appropriate salary
  5. Things that social package includes
  6. Production and producers
  7. Business management & marketing
  8. How to explain the meaning of a start-up
  9. Franchises, mergers, and acquisitions
  10. Types of marketing advertising

Definition Essay Ideas for Science & IT

Grab some bonus definition topics related to information technologies & science. They might be useful if you like to discuss innovations and forecasts for the future!

  1. The programming language of tomorrow
  2. World Wide Web/Internet
  3. Operating systems (Mac, Windows, etc.)
  4. Different types of telecommunication
  5. Smartphones vs. outdated mobile/cellular phones
  6. Pros & cons of e-learning
  7. Computer data & information
  8. Artificial intelligence
  9. Automated home systems
  10. Emailing and how it works

Grab some tips on how to write a definition essay before deciding on the best definition essay topics for your paper!

Structure of a Definition Essay

The structure of your final definition paper may remind something like this:

  • An official definition copy-pasted or paraphrased from the dictionary;
  • Writer’s personal understanding of the word;
  • An example of usage in literature or real life;
  • Supporting evidence;
  • Conclusion.
If you use any extra sources, list them in references. To avoid plagiarism, the writer has to paraphrase the dictionary entries.

The primary thing to consider is how to write a definition essay introduction – a lot depends on the 1st impression you leave on the reader.

In the opening paragraph, a writer can start with the bang by offering an exciting fact, rhetorical question, literary quote, or else that has to do with the chosen terms. Explain the role of the chosen word in the language. Finish the introductionby mentioning that you will look at all possible interpretations and uses of the term further in the text.

In the body, offer some examples from the real-life experience or from the external sources to show different usages of the analyzed term(s).

In your conclusion, you may start from the meaning of the word from the source that you have not used before. The last sentence of the conclusion should sum up all the possible interpretations of the chosen word.

You may wonder how to make the text flow logically. Do not forget to add transition words for definition essay to show the way paragraphs are related to each other.

The introduction is the only section that does not require one. Start and finish the rest of the paragraphs with some transition words. Mind different groups of such bridges you build between various paragraphs to select the proper words to make the reader follow your main idea.

This infographic below will make it clear!

types of transition words

How to Write a Definition Essay: Tricks That Work!

While choosing topics for definition essay, you should keep in mind some of the expert tips to succeed with your further writing. From time to time, turn to the examples to learn more! The professional online writing service offers multiple examples of definition essays and other papers available free of charge!

  • Pick the term.
    If you wish to come up with a hefty essay worth A+, stay away from discussing words like nouns or verbs like “swimming” or “necklace.” It is better to focus on analyzing some processes.
  • Add own thoughts.
    Except for the official dictionary definitions, you’ll need to include personal interpretations of the analyzed words. Do not bend over – do not get too subjective while explaining the term using your own words!
  • Provide real-life examples.
    The best way to make the audience understand what you have on your mind is through inserting some examples to show how the word was used in the context of the real world.
  • Focus on multiple definitions.
    It is better to offer terms that have numerous meanings (example: beauty, fight, freedom, rock, etc.)
  • Exclude universal words.
    In your paper, you should not discuss words like “hi,” café,” or “telephone.”
  • Do not underestimate the role of research!
    Even though it is not a research paper, conduct a study to find all possible meanings of the term along with its origins and usage to make your paper more interesting!
The best way to understand the way it works is to have a look at the free example of definition essay posted below.

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