topic sentence


Definition of topic sentence

: a sentence that states the main thought of a paragraph or of a larger unit of discourse and is usually placed at or near the beginning

Examples of topic sentence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Your daughter should think about defending her thesis with a series of sub-arguments, each expressed as a topic sentence for her body paragraphs. Brian Platzer, The Atlantic, 20 Apr. 2021 While Fowler will occasionally work with small groups of students on discrete skills—like coming up with the topic sentence of a paragraph—students no longer routinely work in reading groups. Natalie Wexler, The Atlantic, 10 Aug. 2020 For emails and other short things, the old college favorite of a topic sentence followed by supporting paragraphs and a conclusion is hard to get wrong. Harry Guinness, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2020 Oracle has a different metaphor: Declarations are like topic sentences while implementing code is akin to the body of paragraphs. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'topic sentence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of topic sentence

1885, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for topic sentence

Time Traveler

The first known use of topic sentence was in 1885

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Dictionary Entries Near topic sentence

topic of discussion

topic sentence


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Statistics for topic sentence

Cite this Entry

“Topic sentence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for topic sentence

topic sentence


Kids Definition of topic sentence

: a sentence that states the main thought of a paragraph


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