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A definition essay is one that requires the writer to explain what a particular word or concept means. It is very similar to helping someone you know understand the meaning of a new word or concept, only that you will do it in written form. Usually, it is extremely easy to come up with a topic for this type of essay. You just need to choose some word or concept and attempt explaining it in essay form.

When you are trying to explain or define a particular concept, it is worth remembering that it is much easier to explain real or concrete concepts than it is to explain harder abstract ones. The following are some definition essay topic ideas you can use for practice purposes.

 
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List of Suggested Topics for a Definition Essay

Definition Essay Topics on Romantic Relations and Love
  1. Can love be defined as a versatile feeling?
  2. How far is hatred from love?
  3. Can love get a single definition? 
  4. What is the relation of love to other emotions?
  5. Which feeling is the most powerful ever?
  6. Love from parents: what does it cover? 
  7. Devotion to cats and dogs: is that love? 
  8. Passion vs. love 
  9. What are the characteristics of romantic relations between a man and a woman?
  10. Crazy love: what can be the consequences?
Definition Essay Topics on Freedom
  1. Spare time at work
  2. Slavery vs. freedom
  3. Well-known movements for freedom
  4. Perception of the concept ‘freedom’ in the twenty-first century
  5. How can liberty be interpreted?
  6. Is there any relation between feeling genuinely happy and being free?
  7. Perspective of freedom from the point of view of a prisoner 
  8. Would it be right to make the school breaks longer?
  9. What role did American Civil War play in defining the concept of freedom?
  10. Is absolute freedom a good thing to enjoy? 
Definition Essay Topics with Arguments
  1. Using smartphones in class: advantages and disadvantages
  2. Two sides of the coin: what does this mean?
  3. How can corporate social responsibility be achieved?
  4. Why should creationism be covered by a school curriculum?
  5. Unfair elections vs. fair elections
  6. Death penalty: for and against
  7. The most cruel crimes 
  8. Cheating on wives and husbands
  9. Effects of racial segregation
  10. A state official language 
Definition Essay Topics with Extension
  1. Which kinds of punishment are adequate in a happy family?
  2. Healthy weight: what are the key symptoms?
  3. Self-development, self-assurance, and self-management: are they the same? 
  4. What makes one generous?
  5. ‘Frenemy’ – what is it? 
  6. Are the US citizens’ rights violated by the FBI?
  7. Consequences of low quality coaching
  8. Selfishness: main factors and definition  
  9. How can one manage laziness?
  10. Marvel movies: key traits of protagonists 
Business Ideas in the Context of Definition Essay Topics 
  1. Economic depression: causes and effects 
  2. Statistics in business
  3. Business marketing and management 
  4. E-commerce: progress  
  5. Adequate salary: how can it be defined?
  6. Social package: what does it include?
  7. Producers and production 
  8. Classification of marketing advertising 
  9. Start-up: what does it mean?  
  10. Acquisitions, mergers, and franchises
Definition Essay Topics on Politics and History 
  1. Terrorism: origins and measures to ensure prevention 
  2. Independence: benefits of independence for a country 
  3. Capitalism and communism: difference and benefits for the people
  4. Anarchism: meaning and implication 
  5. Revolution: definition, causes, and the most famous rebellions in the world
Extended Topics for Definition Essays
  1. Wisdom: definition and key difference between being knowledgeable and wise 
  2. Bravery: definition and key difference between being brave and courageous
  3. Hatred: definition, its destructive nature and effect on people  
  4. Love: multiple definitions and meaning for the people
  5. Trust: true meaning and methods of deserving the trust of others
  6. Honesty: is it right to tell only the truth?
  7. Respect: true meaning, ways to show respect
  8. Generosity: definition, people who can be called generous 

Useful Tips to Apply while Developing an Argument for a Definition Essay

There are also certain definition topics that can be used in argument essays. For instance, there are some things you might argue could or could not be defined in a particular way. The following is a useful formula to apply when developing an argument for a definition essay:

'One thing is or is not another thing' or 'X is or is not Y.'

When you are explaining or defining a particular term or concept it is important to remember that the explanation you actually give may vary according to the educational level your writing is intended for. If, for instance, you are a student at sixth grade and are asked to define what 'love' is, your essay could begin as follows:

'Love is feeling …' or just 'Love is …'

Although explanations like this may be suitable at junior school level, they would be entirely inappropriate at college level. Therefore, it is essential to consider the educational level you are writing for and to ensure your definitions are an appropriate match for that level. If you do not, you could run into trouble.

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