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 Credit is possible without introductions, conclusions, topic sentences, or meaningful transitions between thoughts. Aaron R. Hanlon, The New Republic, 6 Sep. 2023 That could be the topic sentence for the European Union’s increasingly open-data grid standards and open-access grid forecasts and models. IEEE Spectrum, 27 June 2023 What a topic sentence is? Elissa Strauss, CNN, 7 July 2020 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'topic sentence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1885, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of topic sentence was in 1885

Dictionary Entries Near topic sentence

Cite this Entry

“Topic sentence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

topic sentence

: a sentence that states the main thought of a paragraph
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