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 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, "How to Edit Your Own Writing," 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, "Movie Studios Back Oracle in Supreme Court Fight Over Computer Code," 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

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The first known use of topic sentence was in 1885

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Cite this Entry

“Topic sentence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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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

Comments on topic sentence

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