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topic sentence

or topical sentence

noun
1.
a sentence that expresses the essential idea of a paragraph or larger section, usually appearing at the beginning.
Origin of topic sentence
1915-1920
1915-20
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for topic-sentence
Historical Examples
  • A fourth method of building up a paragraph from a topic-sentence consists in telling what it is not; that is, giving the obverse.

    English: Composition and Literature W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • In isolated paragraphs, paragraphs that are indeed compositions in miniature, the topic-sentence is the first sentence.

    English: Composition and Literature W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • A paragraph with no topic-sentence is most common in narration and description.

    English: Composition and Literature W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • Below are four paragraphs, from different forms of discourse, all having the topic-sentence at the beginning.

    English: Composition and Literature W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • In narration and in a short paragraph of description this paragraph of details is frequently without a topic-sentence.

    English: Composition and Literature W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • In these cases the topic-sentence follows the transition, and it may come as late as the middle of the paragraph.

    English: Composition and Literature W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • In exposition and argument, and sometimes in the other forms of discourse, the topic-sentence may be at the end of the paragraph.

    English: Composition and Literature W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • A third method of developing a paragraph from a topic-sentence is by repetition.

    English: Composition and Literature W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
British Dictionary definitions for topic-sentence

topic sentence

noun
1.
a sentence in a paragraph that expresses the main idea or point of the whole paragraph
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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topic-sentence in Culture

topic sentence definition


The main sentence in a paragraph, often the first sentence. It briefly conveys the essential idea of the paragraph.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Word of the Day

Difficulty index for topic sentence

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for topic

9
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for topic-sentence