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. 2000.