Dorothy M.
Dorothy M.

Definition Essay Writing Guide: Topics, Structure, & Examples

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Published on: Jan 5, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 5, 2023

Definition Essay

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Writing an essay is a great way to express your opinion and learn more about the topic. When it comes to writing essays, there are many ways you can go about it.

This blog post will explore some of those ways as well as offer tips on how to write a definition essay.

In the definition essay, the writer explains the meaning of a specific word by supporting it with examples or facts.

Writing a good definition essay is a complex task for high school and college students. Therefore, in this blog, you will know how to write a great definition essay like a pro.

So, continue reading this blog, and get an idea of the perfect definition essay.

What is a Definition Essay?

A definition essay is a piece of academic writing in which an essay writer defines a term, concept, or idea. This type of essay requires that the writer write a personal yet academic definition of a particular word.

The definition essay is structured and includes both a definition and an analysis of the term. Moreover, you can also use the definition to fully explain the concept before making an argument about it.

However, in the essay, you can use your own words to define a term, including its connotation and denotation. It makes your essay interesting for the readers, and they can easily understand it. Besides, it allows the audience to learn something unique that they don’t find in dictionaries.

There are a few standard tactics and approaches that you can use to describe a term in the essay. Here, you must support your definition with strong evidence and examples. Similarly, a writer must address the following things in a definition essay.

  • What is the term?
  • Use facts and examples that the readers can easily understand.
  • Present clear and valid information about the term.

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Definition Essay Techniques

Below-given are some common techniques that you can use in your essay to define a term. However, keep in mind that these approaches can vary depending on your subject.

  • Denotation: Provide a dictionary or academic definition.
  • Connotation: Provide an implied meaning of a term.
  • Analogy: Use it when comparing and contrasting similar notions from the same class of a word.
  • Enumeration: List all the possible meanings of a term.
  • Negation: Define the term by discussing what it is not.

How to Write a Definition Essay?

Follow the steps given below to write a great definition essay.

1. Select a Word

Pick a word that describes an idea or concept. While choosing a word, keep in mind that you have to create your definition. Therefore, never choose complex or difficult words for your essay.

Avoid picking concrete objects such as “ball,” “pen,” “pencil,” etc. These topics are difficult to use in the essay, and you don’t need to write a lot about them. However, choose a word that you are familiar with.

2. Conduct the Research

After choosing the word, start the research process. Look up the word in the dictionary and notice the structure of the definition. Research the word in encyclopedias and find out where the word came from. Read academic articles, research papers, and blogs that discuss the word in detail.

3. Choose a Topic

The topic is the first thing that the readers read and decide whether to read the entire essay or not. From the essay topic, the reader gets an idea about the essay. Thus, try to select an idea that is interesting to you and your audience.

4. Develop a Thesis Statement

The thesis statement of a definition essay is a short definition of your essay. It mainly defines your version of the term.

Moreover, a good thesis can be a mixture of your personal experiences, interpretation style, and explanation. Keep the statement one sentence long and write it in an active voice.

5. Definition Essay Outline

The definition essay outline is a simple plan of your essay. Before you begin your essay, create the outline first and then start writing.

It works as a roadmap and will help you to avoid writing irrelevant information. Therefore, ensure that you have an outline before you start writing your essay.

The definition essay outline format is similar to the typical five-paragraph essays. It includes the following three sections.

  • Definition Essay Introduction

    Start the introduction with a sentence that will spark the reader’s interest, and it is known as a hook statement. The hook statement can be any quote, story, or interesting fact that will capture the reader’s attention.

    Moreover, provide background information about the topic and specify the term you will define in your essay. Also, finish the introduction with a thesis statement that provides a brief definition.

  • Definition Essay Body Paragraphs

    In the essay body paragraphs, use different approaches. However, each paragraph must present only one approach by giving a detailed background of the term you are analyzing.

    Furthermore, include examples in this section and make them powerful. Do not use any examples that will not support the definition. Instead, try to make it attention-grabbing and interesting.

  • Definition Essay Conclusion

    The conclusion is a summary of your essay. Here, you will add your personal view about the subject and encourage the reader to do something about it.

6. Revising the Essay

Once you complete your essay, start the proofreading phase. Check spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors in the essay. Also, ask others to read your essay and get feedback from them. Revise it again and again; make sure that it is free from all the errors.

Have a look at the following structure to understand the definition essay writing process.

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Definition Essay Examples

Here are some definition essay samples for you to get an idea.

Definition Essay Topics

When choosing the essay topic, keep the target audience in mind. Here are some definition essay topics for college students. Choose the one that is interesting and easier to write.

  • Society: How do popular people understand society?
  • Happiness: Define happiness based on personal experience.
  • Family: The impact of family on education and career choice.
  • Freedom: What is freedom?
  • University: The role of a university degree in a modern person’s life.
  • Love: The word love cannot be described in words.
  • Success: A determined mind attains success quickly.
  • Social Media: The impact of social media on doing business.
  • Kindness: What does it mean to be kind?
  • Racism: The major consequences of the civil rights movement.

The above-mentioned is a complete guide to writing a definition essay. However, if you are still confused and have weak writing skills, consult an essay writer at Our professional team will guide you to complete your essay assignment on time and with zero plagiarism.

So, place your order now and get a well-written essay from expert writers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the definition essay?

A definition essay is structured around the goal of defining a term, concept, or idea. You should start off with a simple dictionary definition. Your essay will end up having an extended definition for your term, concept, or idea.

Dorothy M.


Dorothy M. (Literature, Marketing)

Dorothy M. is an experienced freelance writer with over five years of experience in the field. She has a wide client base, and her customers keep returning to her because of her great personalized writing. Dorothy takes care to understand her clients' needs and writes content that engages them and impresses their instructors or readers.

Dorothy M. is an experienced freelance writer with over five years of experience in the field. She has a wide client base, and her customers keep returning to her because of her great personalized writing. Dorothy takes care to understand her clients' needs and writes content that engages them and impresses their instructors or readers.

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