1. a subject of conversation or discussion: to provide a topic for discussion.
2. the subject or theme of a discourse or of one of its parts.
3. Rhetoric, Logic. a general field of considerations from which arguments can be drawn.
4. Also called theme. Linguistics. the part of a sentence that announces the item about which the rest of the sentence communicates information, often signaled by initial position in the sentence or by a grammatical marker.
1560–70; < L topica (pl.) < Gk (tà) topiká name of work by Aristotle (lit., (things) pertaining to commonplaces), equiv. to tóp(os) commonplace + -ika, neut. pl. of -ikos -ic; see topo-
2. thesis, subject matter. See subject.