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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (2)

1. the subject matter of a conversation or discussion;
- Example: "he didn't want to discuss that subject"
- Example: "it was a very sensitive topic"
- Example: "his letters were always on the theme of love"
[syn: subject, topic, theme]

2. some situation or event that is thought about;
- Example: "he kept drifting off the topic"
- Example: "he had been thinking about the subject for several years"
- Example: "it is a matter for the police"
[syn: topic, subject, issue, matter]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Topic \Top"ic\, n. [F. topiques, pl., L. topica the title of a work of Aristotle, Gr. topika`, fr. topiko`s of or for place, concerning to`poi, or commonplaces, fr. to`pos a place.] (a) One of the various general forms of argument employed in probable as distinguished from demonstrative reasoning, -- denominated by Aristotle to`poi (literally, places), as being the places or sources from which arguments may be derived, or to which they may be referred; also, a prepared form of argument, applicable to a great variety of cases, with a supply of which the ancient rhetoricians and orators provided themselves; a commonplace of argument or oratory. (b) pl. A treatise on forms of argument; a system or scheme of forms or commonplaces of argument or oratory; as, the Topics of Aristotle. [1913 Webster] These topics, or loci, were no other than general ideas applicable to a great many different subjects, which the orator was directed to consult. --Blair. [1913 Webster] In this question by [reason] I do not mean a distinct topic, but a transcendent that runs through all topics. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster] 2. An argument or reason. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Contumacious persons, who are not to be fixed by any principles, whom no topics can work upon. --Bp. Wilkins. [1913 Webster] 3. The subject of any distinct portion of a discourse, or argument, or literary composition; also, the general or main subject of the whole; a matter treated of; a subject, as of conversation or of thought; a matter; a point; a head. [1913 Webster] 4. (Med.) An external local application or remedy, as a plaster, a blister, etc. [Obsoles.] --Wiseman. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Topic \Top"ic\, a. Topical. --Drayton. Holland. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

topic n 1: the subject matter of a conversation or discussion; "he didn't want to discuss that subject"; "it was a very sensitive topic"; "his letters were always on the theme of love" [syn: subject, topic, theme] 2: some situation or event that is thought about; "he kept drifting off the topic"; "he had been thinking about the subject for several years"; "it is a matter for the police" [syn: topic, subject, issue, matter]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

80 Moby Thesaurus words for "topic": action, anagnorisis, angle, architectonics, architecture, argument, atmosphere, background, bone of contention, catastrophe, catechism, characterization, color, complication, continuity, contrivance, cross-interrogatory, cross-question, debating point, demand, denouement, design, development, device, episode, fable, falling action, feeler, gimmick, head, incident, inquiry, interrogation, interrogative, interrogatory, issue, keynote, leader, leading question, line, local color, matter, mood, moot point, motif, motive, movement, mythos, peripeteia, plan, plot, point, point at issue, point in question, problem, proposition, query, question, question at issue, question mark, quodlibet, recognition, rising action, scheme, secondary plot, slant, story, structure, subject, subject matter, subplot, switch, text, thematic development, theme, thesis, tone, trial balloon, twist, vexed question