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From Latin topica, from Ancient Greek τοπικός (topikós, pertaining to a place, local, pertaining to a common place, or topic, topical), from τόπος (tópos, a place).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɒpɪk/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtäpik/
  • (file)



  1. Topical.


topic (plural topics)

  1. Subject; theme; a category or general area of interest.
    A society where a topic cannot be discussed, does not have free speech.
    • 2013 August 3, “The machine of a new soul”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      The yawning gap in neuroscientists’ understanding of their topic is in the intermediate scale of the brain’s anatomy. Science has a passable knowledge of how individual nerve cells, known as neurons, work. It also knows which visible lobes and ganglia of the brain do what. But how the neurons are organised in these lobes and ganglia remains obscure. Yet this is the level of organisation that does the actual thinking—and is, presumably, the seat of consciousness.
  2. (Internet) Discussion thread.
  3. (obsolete) An argument or reason.
    • Bishop Wilkins
      contumacious persons, who are not to be fixed by any principles, whom no topics can work upon
  4. (obsolete, medicine) An external local application or remedy, such as a plaster, a blister, etc.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Wiseman to this entry?)


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