Definition essay-Types of Essays

by Admin Support April 11, 2015

Definition Essay – Types of Essays

A definition essay is a type of writing that illustrates what a ‘word’ means. This type of essays demands a personal yet academic explanation of a particular term. The definition has to be lengthy. So it’s essential to carefully select a ‘term or word’ that provides a writer enough to write about. There are two major types of ‘words’, one that has a definite and concrete meaning, such as pen book, paper, glass etc. and the other that has an abstract meaning, such as bravery, honesty, love, hatred etc. It’s easier to write about a definite or concrete word.

Concrete and Abstract Noun 356 × 287

For example the word ‘Pen’, it’s a concrete object and so it’s easy to define it. The explanation goes in this way, ‘pen is a writing tool used for applying ink to a surface, such as paper, for writing or for drawing’.

Now let’s consider the word ‘Bravery’, being an abstract word, it’s difficult to define it. The explanation of bravery, “The characteristic that allows someone to do such activities that are hazardous or fearsome”.

However, it’s better to choose an abstract word because an abstract word has a complex meaning and is debatable i.e. it means different to different people. It wouldn’t be a clever idea to choose a word like “pen” for a definition essay because the word, “pen” has a straightforward meaning, so the writer will definitely have to worry in writing an entire essay about it. Moreover, not many peoples opinions will contradict over the definition of the word “pen,” which means the definition will be small and very common. On a contradictory, the writer can write many things on the word ‘love’ like first love, romantic love, or platonic love and everybody has different opinions about this word.

Quick Tips for Writing a Definition Essay

  • Firstly the reader should know what word is being defined by your writing. The writer can define by function, by structure or by doing an analysis.
  • The information provided to describe the word should be very clear.
  • To give a transparent understanding to the reader, it’s better to use examples, facts or anecdotes in the writing. Think of a set of examples to describe your definition.

Get help for how to choose the right word.

Golden rules for writing a definition essay

  • Questions like “When” and “where” should be avoided in a good definition essay. A noun is described through a noun, a verb through a verb, etc.
  • The writer should not copy his definition from the dictionary definition ,but is assumed to be the impression of the author’s assessment.
  • The best way to describe the definition is to use simple English language.

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Structure of a Definition Essay


This part should have a universal description of the word. To this generic description, the writer can give a contradictory opinion to contrast it. End your introduction by giving your own definition of the word that you are going to talk about in details throughout the essay.


In your essay’s body, the writer has to provide a few different points that compose your perception of the definition but the points should be paragraphed separately.

Point 1

This will consist of the first element of your definition. Support your writing with examples, facts or anecdotes.

Point 2

This is the second facet of the word. Once again, try to give an example and provide analysis.

Point 3

Etc., if necessary


The conclusion should contain an overview of all the above points. Restate the word to be defined, the process adopted and it’s effectiveness. The writer can also explain how the definition has impacted his life.

Essay Outline 333 × 347Important points to remember while writing a definition essay

  • Try to give an explanation which is on your own and not just copying from anywhere else.
  • If the term has an extremely vast meaning, then do confine the description of the term. Let us take an example, the term ‘fan’ has a broad definition ,and in order to describe it, the writer has to write many pages, but if you narrow the topic to ‘baseball fan’, then it will be much easier for the writer with expertise the essay.
  • A proper progress is needed to establish a connection between the paragraphs.
  • Proofread your essay cautiously in order to prevent any factual and grammatical mistakes.

Here are a few examples of definition essays:

  • – Courage
  • – Independence
  • – Literature
  • – Hero
  • – Success
  • – Lou’s cafe
  • – Friendship
  • – Love
  • – Art and Excellence
  • – Military discipline
  • – Team player
  • – Optimism
  • – The word ‘Private’
  • – The many meanings of community
  • – Defining the Soul of Man
  • – Murder
  • – Definition of Citizen

Thus, whatever be the essay topic you choose, you should have an interest in the subject and it should be common for you, only then you can describe the topic. It would be beneficial if you had personal experience with the topic you are going to describe or define.

Other articles under blog series of “Types of Academic Essays”

  1. Essay and its forms
  2. Descriptive essay
  3. Definition essay
  4. Cause/effect essay
  5. Narrative essay
  6. Process essay
  7. Argumentative essay
  8. Critical essay

Do not miss to check similar blog series in other topics


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