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Ambition Extended Definition Essay Examples

How to Write an Extended Definition Essay

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Writing an extended definition essay does not differ too much from writing a definition essay. In both cases you have to analyze a given term in various contexts, and to distinguish between  different meanings of it. An extended definition essay allows you to write in a more general way, including opposition to the mundane definitions of the term, and casting doubt on them.

How to write an extended definition essay – essential tips.

Choose the right term

You will be given a short list of terms that you associate with various experiences and situations. If you do not have enough self-confidence, we recommend you to select an extended definition topic which seems the most appropriate for you (you have knowledge and information about it; for example, the term “friendship”).  But if you believe that you are able to write an excellent definition essay, then it is better to pick up the most difficult task (for instance, terms like “symbol”, “instincts”, “discoverers”). Most of your classmates would prefer writing on “easy” extended definition essay topics, thus your paper will stand out as a genuine one.

Extended Definition Essay Outline - Plan your work

First, make a short extended definition outline. This will help you develop your ideas in a better way. Follow the usual structure of the five-paragraph essay:

In the introduction part you write about the context of the problem. Here you can mention a few definitions, and explain which one you prefer.

It should contain 3 paragraphs. Select three different definitions and compare them. Give one example for each of them.

Now you can restate the thesis and summarize the arguments in its favor. Tell the readers what is a strong point of your essay, what exactly makes it stand out.

Refer to particular situations

It would be good to stay within the limits of an abstract thought, but probably no one will comprehend your ideas. Thus, you need to refer to particular cases. Describe them in one sentence only. Employ impartial language and do not become too emotional. It is recommended to refrain from using pronouns like “I” or “my” throughout the essay.

Another strategy: opposition

It is not posited that an extended definition essay should deal only with different meanings of one term. Another strategy of writing can be employed, but it is of a very advanced type. Your essay may be engaged with criticism of the widely accepted definitions or perceptions of the given term. Let’s say that the term is “discoverers.” It usually has positive meaning: a discoverer is always respected by the society (of course, people like Columbus are exception from this rule). However, some discoverers, like the Spanish conquistadors, did harm to the natives, with millions of causalities as a consequence. Very often we associate the term “discoverer” with the climbers who set world records by climbing The Himalayas in wintertime, or the astronauts who are living in the International space station. But discoverers can also destroy local civilizations, or impose their understandings of life upon the local people. Thus, every thesis can be opposed and defended with equally strong arguments.

Extended Definition Essay Topics

Extended definition essay topics allow the writer to completely define and explain the meaning of a subject matter in their own words. When writing an extended definition essay, you should give examples and experiences related to the topic to emphasize its meaning.

Here is a list of 100+ extended definition topics that you can consider for your next essay.

  1. Explain what is a simplified life.
  2. What is a sense of humor?
  3. What is sportsmanship?
  4. Define what is pride.
  5. What is generosity?
  6. Define what is kindness.
  7. What is trust?
  8. What does it mean to be self-assured?
  9. Who is a generous person?
  10. What is modesty?
  11. What is faith?
  12. Who is a friend?
  13. What is dedication?
  14. What does it mean to be ambitious?
  15. Define a modest person.
  16. Define a faithful person.
  17. What is dignity?
  18. What is pessimism?
  19. Define what is charisma.
  20. Who is an optimist?
  21. Define laughter?
  22. Define who is a sexist person.
  23. What is racism?
  24. Who is a trustworthy person?
  25. Explain who is a racist person.
  26. What is sexism?
  27. What is telecommunication?
  28. What is online education?
  29. Who is a student?
  30. What does it mean to be conservative?
  31. What does it mean to be physically fit?
  32. What is marketing communications?
  33. Define courage?
  34. What is traditional education?
  35. What is a good diet?
  36. What is cyber terrorism?
  37. Who is a teacher?
  38. Describe a courageous person.
  39. What is college life?
  40. What is self-respect?
  41. What is a bad diet?
  42. Define a happy marriage.
  43. What is friendship?
  44. What is the American Dream?
  45. Define family.
  46. Who is a pessimist?
  47. Explain what is online privacy.
  48. Explain what is meant by customer lifetime value.
  49. What is exasperation?
  50. What is optimism?
  51. What is value of life?
  52. Describe a good spouse (husband or wife)?
  53. What is common sense?
  54. Who is a good leader?
  55. What is responsibility?
  56. What is relaxation?
  57. Who is a team player?
  58. What is heroism?
  59. Describe a mature person
  60. What is the sixth sense?
  61. What is peace of mind?
  62. What is a mercy killing?
  63. What is city life?
  64. Who is a dependable person?
  65. What is persistence?
  66. What does it mean to have a healthy appetite?
  67.  What is frustration?
  68. Define success
  69. Define a hero.
  70. Who is a persistent person?
  71. What is dependability?
  72. Who is a responsible person?
  73. What is vanity?
  74. Who is a successful person?
  75. Describe a vain person.
  76. What is virtue?
  77. Who is a virtuous person?
  78. What is progress?
  79. Describe a good or bad parent.
  80. What is beauty?
  81. Describe a beautiful person.
  82. What is the perfect vacation?
  83. What is cheating?
  84. Who is a cheater?
  85. What is feminism?
  86. Who is a feminist?
  87. What is poverty?
  88. What is science?
  89. Who is a scientist?
  90. What is real estate?
  91. What is a good attitude?
  92. What is a bad attitude?
  93. What is religion?
  94. Who is a religious person?
  95. What is loyalty?
  96. Who is a loyal person?
  97. What is male chauvinism?
  98. Who is a male chauvinist?
  99. What is industrialization?
  100. Who is an industrialist?
  101. What is peer pressure?
  102. What is capitalism?
  103. What is communism?
  104. What is juvenile delinquency?

Having completed your definition essay, proofread it and then read it several times in a row. Read it again the other day (as your mind will be sharper). Now you know a little more about how to write an extended definition essay. The rest depends on your concentration and writing skills. 

Need help with your extended definition essay? 

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You see a new word that absolutely means nothing to you. The word seems interesting enough so as a wise student you decide to look it up in the dictionary. After researching the term online, you find a proper definition that seems logical enough. Great, you have learned a new word!

However, sometimes a term cannot be described in a sentence or two. This word is so complex and deep that it requires hundreds or even thousands of words to explain it.

Table Of Contents

What is a Definition Essay?

A definition essay can be tricky to write. This type of paper requires you to write a partially personal and also formal explanation of . Considering the fact that this is an essay, you can not pick a term that is describable in a few words. It has to be a complex term that has significant background and origin in history, as well as a term that people can relate to in some way or form. For example, the word "love". It is seemingly impossible to explain this concept in a sentence or two, so we must create an entire essay about it to give it an accurate UNIVERSAL representation!

Types of Definitions commonly used in Definition Essay

  • Analysis: Break the subject into parts and define each part individually.
  • Classification: What classes does the subject belong to?
  • Comparison: Unusual things may be defined by showing its likeness to the common or its contrast from it.
  • Details: What are the characteristics and other distinguishing features that describe the idea of the paper?
  • Negation: Mention what it is not in order to clear the ground for what it is.
  • Origins and Causes: What is the origin of the theme? What is the background information? What is the history of the idea?
  • Results, Effects, and Uses: Describe the after effect and uses of the subject.

Interesting Topics

  • What makes someone a Hero
  • What is Success?
  • Describe Love.
  • Explain the definition of Beauty.
  • What is Happiness?
  • How can one define Respect?
  • What is the definition of Loyalty?
  • What is Courage?
  • Describe Heroism.
  • What is Friendship?

These are just some common examples of definition essay questions and topics that are commonly asked on tests and coursework assignments. There are an infinite number of words that can be defined in the span of an essay. The goal here is to pick one that as a student you feel comfortable explaining and portraying. It is time to become a word artist!


A definition essay outline will vary in length based on the term one is describing. As stated previously, some terms are fairly logical and more or less "easy to understand". There are some terms, however, that require deep research and analysis in order to be able and formulate an accurate representation of its meaning! Regardless Every Definition Essay should be written in the classic Intro-Body(s)-Conclusion format.

Steps to take Pre-Writing

Before you even begin writing, obviously a word has to be chosen for the essay to be based around. Here are a few tips to consider before choosing your !

  • Choosing a Proper Term:
  • As stated previously, it is impossible to write a hefty custom essay on a simple word. That is why it is important to be meticulous during the decision process. Choosing something like a noun is most likely not going to work out. For example, if you chose the term "pencil", there is really not much depth that you as the writer can get into. Sticking in the same sphere, choosing something like "writing" is much more subjective and gives you as the writer some room for implementing different ideas!
  • The Word Should be Multi-Dimensional
  • Think about it like this: there are certain words in every language that have multiple interpretations; some people will perceive them differently than others!
  • Avoid using terms that are universal in every language; an example would be like "hello" or "telephone". Though there are ways you can stretch information on these terms, it is better to pick a juicy one from the start!
  • Term Familiarity
  • It will be practically impossible to write about a term that has no correlation with your life. You should choose a word that you know well and that also has undiscovered boxes in your life. Ideally, in any research assignment you ever get, there will be some personality knowledgeable gain!
  • Do some historical research!
  • Considering that humans have been lingual for centuries, there is a 100% chance that your term has a significant past. Check out the Oxford Dictionary's explanation in order to get yourself a point of relevance!


As with any other essay, you are using this part to start informing your writers about the contents of your paper. In a definition essay, the introduction serves two main goals; first, you must give a "standard" definition of the term, and then give the thesis definition!

  • Standard Definition: The initial section of the introduction should state the dictionary version. This is important for the readers to have a starting point in regards to the term so as to clarify any possible questions. Also, this is especially important because the standard definition will slightly vary from the thesis one, which allows for multi-dimensionality!

Thesis Statement

Similar to the classic thesis statement, the thesis definition is your fully completed version of what the term actually means. This is a hybrid of the standard definition, while also mixing in your personal experiences and explanation style! Do not try and describe too much in this section, as you want to split up the bulk of it for the rest of the essay! Make sure that you don’t use passive phrases involving the word when defining your term. The phrases like and are especially ponderous.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs are the part of the essay that really breaks down the term into its core parts. You are taking every variation of the definition and its history and breaking it down into organized sections. An example of good body paragraph structure:

  • Body Paragraph 1: History and Origin
  • Body Paragraph 2: Full dictionary explanation and use.
  • Body Paragraph 3: Personal definition created from experience.


The conclusion is fairly simple and to the point. The main goal here is to summarize the main points of your argument. Rephrase the main parts of the definition and make sure you summed up everything you planned on saying. The last thing that should be mentioned is how this term has impacted you. Usually, before even writing the essay, there is a reason a specific term is picked and part of the reason has to do with personal experience.

Post-writing Tip

Mention how the definition you were talking about affected you.

If the term you define plays a specific part in your life and experiences, your final concluding comments are a great place to concisely mention the role it plays.

Definition Essay Examples

Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

Jackson Super Writer, from EssayPro

When writing a definition essay, a common mistake is choosing a term that is way too broad for the given assignment. When you’ve chosen a term, try to narrow it down so it is easier to define and find examples for. As the article articulates, the term’s origin is very important to the word’s meaning itself. For example, the word “crush” comes from a variety of similar words in nordic languages. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to list every single one of those words as examples. As with word “crush”, a word can have multiple meanings. You can crush a bag of chips and you can have a crush on someone. Whatever definition your essay has, make sure to define it in a unique way. Be creative and approach it from a new angle. As the article states, it isn’t a bad idea to put in examples from your own life of how that specific word has impacted you. This will definitely make it more interesting for the reader.

Need Some Definition Essay Guidance?

Sometimes it can be hard to find a term we know well that also has a multi-dimensional definition. This is a common problem for college students and one that is commonly solved by buying an essay online! EssayPro, the best essay writing service on the web, has dedicated paper writers that know all the tips and tricks necessary to write an effective definition essay, leaving you and your professor satisfied!

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