a subject of conversation or discussion: to provide a topic for discussion.
the subject or theme of a discourse or of one of its parts.
Rhetoric, Logic. a general field of considerations from which arguments can be drawn.
Also called theme. Linguistics. the part of a sentence that announces the item about which the rest of the sentence communicates information, often signaled by initial position in the sentence or by a grammatical marker. Compare comment ( def 6 ).

1560–70; < Latin topica (plural) < Greek () topiká name of work by Aristotle (literally, (things) pertaining to commonplaces), equivalent to tóp(os) commonplace + -ika, neuter plural of -ikos -ic; see topo-

2. thesis, subject matter. See subject. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
topic (ˈtɒpɪk)
1.  a subject or theme of a speech, essay, book, etc
2.  a subject of conversation; item of discussion
3.  (in rhetoric, logic, etc) a category or class of arguments or ideas which may be drawn on to furnish proofs
[C16: from Latin topica translating Greek ta topika, literally: matters relating to commonplaces, title of a treatise by Aristotle, from topoi, pl of topos place, commonplace]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1634, "argument suitable for debate," singular form of "Topics" (1568), the name of a work by Aristotle on logical and rhetorical generalities, from L. Topica, from Gk. Ta Topika, lit. "matters concerning topoi," from topoi "commonplaces," neut. pl. of topikos "commonplace, of a place," from topos "place."
The meaning "matter treated in speech or writing, subject, theme" is first recorded 1720. Topical "of or pertaining to topics of the day" is recorded from 1873.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The sun's role in global warming has long been a matter of debate and is likely
  to remain a contentious topic.
Browse the list below to find topic pages about science.
Please stay on topic and be respectful of other readers.
It also can expand their vocabulary by helping them visualize and create their
  own imagery for the topic.
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