Top·ic n. (a) 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. (b) pl. A treatise on forms of argument; a system or scheme of forms or commonplaces of argument or oratory; as, the Topics of Aristotle.
These topics, or loci, were no other than general ideas applicable to a great many different subjects, which the orator was directed to consult. --Blair.
In this question by [reason] I do not mean a distinct topic, but a transcendent that runs through all topics. --Jer. Taylor.
2. An argument or reason. [Obs.]
Contumacious persons, who are not to be fixed by any principles, whom no topics can work upon. --Bp. Wilkins.
3. 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.
4. Med. An external local application or remedy, as a plaster, a blister, etc. [Obsoles.]
Top·ic, a. Topical.
n 1: the subject matter of a conversation or discussion; "he
didn't want to discuss that subject"; "it was a very
sensitive topic"; "his letters were always on the theme
of love" [syn: subject, theme]
2: some situation or event that is thought about; "he kept
drifting off the topic"; "he had been thinking about the
subject for several years"; "it is a matter for the
police" [syn: subject, issue, matter]