15 Definition Essay Topics to Write About

Picking up the topic for a definition essay can turn into a real quest. There are millions of definition argument topics you can write about. But such a colossal amount can drive you crazy and put your thoughts in a mess.

definition essay topics

Okay, after a couple of times you were eventually able to choose the word you need to define. It is obvious that every student will seek the definition in one of the dictionaries available. But usually this book definition is not enough for the thousand word definition essay (make sure from our example of a definition paragraph). Extended definition topics are about terms that cannot be explained in a phrase or two. They usually involve your personal point of view on the complex term.

If you still haven’t decided what topic you should write about, take a look at our list! Here you can find not only topics to choose from, but also helpful descriptions and questions that will help to jump-start your creativity.

1. What is mature love?

Think of being in love seriously and for a long time. Have you experienced this feeling? How do you think it is (or was) mature enough? Tell what is mature love from your point of view. What do famous writers say about its meaning? What do your closest people think about it? What do scientists and psychologists say about love? What examples of mature love can you present? How do people act when both experience mature love? Does mature love really exist or is it a myth?

2. What is wisdom?

Do you think you are a wise person? What qualities should a wise person have? Can wisdom be developed? What is not wisdom? Wisdom and cleverness is frequently confused, but what is real wisdom? Can an experienced person also be called wise?

If you will be thinking about wisdom from the perspective of Greek philosophers, you can consider various schools and compare the change from ancient years to current times.

3. What is science fiction?

There is much debate among literary critics and the general population about what is considered science fiction. Nevertheless, most of them agree that science fiction is literature based on a certain assumption in the field of science: the emergence of a new invention, the discovery of new laws of nature, sometimes even the construction of new models of society. What is the connection between futurology and science fiction? What is the connection between mythology and science fiction? What are the different types of science fiction?

4. What does “motherland” mean to you?

Every person has a unique concept of what “motherland” means to them. For someone, motherland is the street and house where he or she lives; and for another it’s the country where this person was born and raised. In general, the concept of the motherland does not depend on the territorial boundary. The main thing is that a person, wherever he or she is, feels to be a part of this area. Are the terms “motherland” and “patriotism” interconnected?

5. What is freedom of press?

The definition of freedom of speech can be traced through the centuries. For one period of time it had one meaning, and now it has another. What does freedom of press mean to you? How does freedom of press relate to democracy? What is the position of government relating to freedom of speech? What is the position of the press? Are journalists always right? Should journalists guide both government and society in general to a certain path? What restrictions does freedom of speech have nowadays?

6. What is malleability for an actor?

Many believe that the actor’s performances – the careful movement of the eyes, the shifting of the gesture, or a beautiful turn of the head. So, who can be named as an experienced actor? Imagine that you are a director of a movie. With which actor would you prefer to work: the one who will be able to transform into any image you need, or with those who are good only with certain roles? On the one hand, there are actors with bright personalities, who in any role play more themselves than the hero. Does the actor’s professional knowledge depend on his or her appearance? What qualities should a professional actor have?

7. What is business ethics?

Start with describing the history of business ethics. What is the main difference between ethics before the 60s and ethics today? Each company uses corporate ethics. In a civilized world, ethical norms and laws are a habitual part of life. Work in the office requires certain skills to communicate with people and to establish contacts. What place does social ethics have in business? What is the purpose and objective of business ethics? How does business ethics improve worker productivity? What methods are applied to increase the level of business ethics?

8. What is inspiration?

Inspiration is one of the states of the human soul, in which the personality is capable of insane deeds, great discoveries, etc. Strong, bright, and elusive in feeling – it is difficult to define it, but you can measure it. It does not obey our will, but we can create conditions for its appearance. In some countries, the word “inspiration” means “divine guidance.” Plato attributed inspiration to the highest point of elevation of the mind, but Aristotle believed this state to be mental insanity. How can one find inspiration? Can inspiration be guided? What is the difference between inspiration, enthusiasm, creativity, and obsession?

9. What is charisma?

This term is far from being new. Moreover, its roots go into ancient Greek mythology. The beautiful ancient Greek goddesses who were distinguished by their special appeal and grace were called the Charites. Today, the term “charisma” is what we often hear in relation to famous personalities. Do you have charisma? Can one learn to be charismatic? Does charisma depend on a person’s character? How do you distinguish a charismatic person among others? What qualities does a charismatic person have? Think about how style, physical appearance, character traits, and exceptional public speaking influence the level of a person’s charisma.

10. What is an excellent sense of humor?

What determines sense of humor? Do you have a sense of humor? It is believed that wit is an innate ability, but still we can see the appearance of schools that are aimed to teach people to joke. It is important to distinguish between wit and sense of humor. Wit is the ability to show cleverness in connecting ideas with awakening a sense of amusement and pleasure.

Can a person improve their sense of humor? Is there a dependence of humor on erudition? Humor is a universal acquisition that each nation understands in its own way. What do you know about British humor?

11. What is the prosperity of a country?

Many think about prosperity of a country as prosperity of a nation. The Legatum Institute every year creates a list of the most prosperous countries. It takes into consideration 104 factors that characterize the prosperity of 149 countries. They include not only gross national product per capita, employment level, and other economic indicators, but also the number of mobile phones, the level of child mortality, the faith of citizens in fairness of elections, and other data that allows to judge the situation in the country. How do you think the country you are living in is prosperous? What factors are the most important to consider?

12. What is deduction in “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”?

Sherlock Holmes is one of the unfading illustrations of an acute mind. How has he investigated crimes? Deduction is a method in which a particular logical path is output from the common. How can we apply this in practice? You can illustrate deduction with an example like this: “All metals are conductive. Gold is metal. So, gold is conductive.” How can deductive skills be improved? In order to develop the talent of logical analysis it is necessary to exercise maximum observation and concentration. How is deduction related to modern forensic science?

13. What is contemporary dance?

Contemporary dance is one of the new directions of modern dance, which combines both elements of western dance (classical dance, modern jazz) and eastern art (qigong, yoga, tai chi). This dance does not have a certain form of style, because the main goal of it is self-expression. What is the history of this dance? Which moments have been given specific attention? Why is this dance referred to as an intellectual dance? How do modern technologies influence contemporary dance? Can everyone learn the contemporary form?

14. What is a happy marriage?

Love and marriage take great patience. It will not work out all at once and in a moment. Married life will not last long if you do not learn to overcome all difficulties together. What do philosophers and sociologists think about a happy marriage? Is love the basis of a happy marriage? Can marriage be happy without love? How does spousal behavior influence the level of happiness? What experiments were conducted to find the laws of a happy marriage?

15. What is morality in Islamic countries?

The path of moral perfection for every orthodox Muslim is prescribed in the Sharia. The Sharia is a summary of Muslim law, which is a comprehensive set of rules of behavior and prohibitions, covering property relations, taxes, trade, family, and marriage relations and rituals. It contains a lot of advice and recommendations from the analysis of the Quran concerning human relationships. What is the basis of Sharia? What are basic requirements for a Muslim? List some norms of morality according to the Quran. How do Muslims treat those who have violated moral norms?

16. What is a generation gap?

The conflict of generations is the emergence of disagreements between people of different ages. The most vivid examples can serve as situations of communication between children and parents, grandmothers, and grandfathers. What are the causes of the generation gap? What is the phenomenon of “teenage rebellion”? Does the generation gap cause development of the personality or egocentrism? What can be done so that the conflict does not destroy the relationship?

17. What is self-discipline?

Self-discipline is the skill and habit of controlling oneself, following the chosen aims and way of life. Typically, this includes the refusal of empty entertainment (for example, refusing to sit and browse the Internet instead of cleaning up), and concentration on goals and awareness in the approach to cases, especially difficult. How does self-discipline differ from motivation? What are the enemies of self-discipline? What is a system of motivation? Great goals require self-discipline and willpower. How does self-discipline affect your productivity? How can you train self-discipline? How is awareness connected to self-discipline?

18. What is optimism?

Whether a person is an optimist or a pessimist eventually comes down to what he or she is inspired with. Optimists believe that all their actions ultimately lead to positive consequences, that only they are responsible for their happiness and that in the future good events will only increase. Optimism is a confidence in a better future, a view of life from a positive point of view. It should not be confused with blind optimism, in which a person is overconfident and ignorant. What features do optimists have? How to become an optimist? What is the difference between enthusiasm and optimism? How does optimism differ from pessimism?

19. What is modern art?

The term “modern art” is blurred and can be applied both to the art of the last few decades, and to art of the second half of the 19th century. Usually modern art is understood as art that goes back to modernism, or is in contradiction with this phenomenon. It is no accident that there are Museums of Modern Art and Museums of Contemporary Art, in the collections of which you can often find work from the same artists. Describe the short history of modern art. What are directions and trends in modern art? What can you do to become a representative of modern art?

20. What is life experience?

Life experience is knowledge that we acquire in the course of our lives. It is unique to each person and each of us has something that others do not have. Life experience is necessary for us to understand reality and coordinate our actions, which allows us to successfully solve various life problems. Lack of life experience gives people a sense of fear. And often this is a fear of failure. Experience warns us against mistakes, tells us how to or how not to lead into certain situations, because they are often repeated. How does one continuously develop skills and abilities? Can we gain life experience on the examples of others? What are positive sides of life experience? How does life experience influence your everyday life?

Starting Your Definition Essay

As soon as you decide on a topic, make sure that you have enough information to write about and you have your own point of view on the issue. Usually you should operate with terms that have no single meaning like happiness, peace, violence, etc. Some people think that happiness is only a house where you can live and money for food for others, or that happiness is great job, nice girls around, and beer. Every person is unique, and so are their definitions to abstract terms.

In a definition essay you will need to express you own meaning to the term, tell the history, or compare definitions from different scientists (check out the full guide on how to write a definition essay). Come up with your unique definition and support it with several examples. We hope our descriptions will help you get on the right track for writing a gorgeous definition essay!