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How to Write a Definition Paragraph: for Essays and Papers

Writing a paragraph

A definition paragraph is a type of paragraph that defines the essential qualities of something. While writing a definition paragraph, you aim to inform the reader what something is by providing facts and details.

Such a paragraph should begin with the topic sentence, succeed with supporting sentences, and end with a well-formulated conclusion. 

How to Write a Definition Paragraph

The author can write the best definition paragraphs by below tips: 

1. Find the Topic 

The writer needs to look for the best topic for defining your paragraph.  The rules allow you to define a term, a concept, or an idea in the definition paragraph. One should choose the topic carefully. Ensure that it is something that you are familiar with. 

2. Sources of Definition

Before you write anything, it is vital to check the sources of your definition. One can get a correct idea by consulting a dictionary or an encyclopedia definition to get a clue of what that means. 

3. Determine the Item’s Category 

You can simplify your writing by classifying the item that you want to define. As such, you will make it easy to write your topic sentences correctly.  The reader will understand what you are communicating by going through the paragraph content. 

4. Give Examples

The author should support the definition by offering solid arguments. You can elaborate your points by citing various examples to arouse the interest of your audience. The example comes as a booster to make the argument sink into the mind of the reader. 

5. Use Transition Phrases 

Transitional words

You can spice up your paragraph by using transitional phrases.

The transitional phrases make the paragraph flow well.

Some of the words in this category could, however, be more so, even so, and more. 

The transition clauses make the paragraphs flow well. They help the audience to enjoy the flow of the piece of writing. 

6. Ending a Definition Paragraph

Typically, a definition paragraph may not feature a conclusion sentence. You can achieve a good paragraph by utilizing a strong argument in your definitions.

An excellent path to wrap up one last time as a way of making your points clear to the reader’s mind. The best way is to write and define words well.

Read on how to define a word in an essay and within a paragraph and present the meaning to your readers.

7. Paragraph Length 

There is no clear limit to how far your paragraph should stretch. The best approach is to make the paragraph long enough to explain the topic sentence thoroughly. Most research papers could have ten or more sentences. 

Another aspect that determines the length of a paragraph is the topic. Notably, a good paragraph in a research paper should not feature a single sentence. The purpose of having a paragraph is to express a certain topic. 

Categories of Definition Paragraphs  

One can write a definition paragraph in three different ways: 

writing a paragraph

a) Synonym 

You can use this method to explain a term with an alternative term that means the same thing.

For example, to spew up is to vomit.

b) Class

It happens when the author puts the topic in a larger category to explain the term. 

For example, a mango is a tropical fruit that features both sweet and acidic tastes.  

c) Negation 

Here, the writer says what something is not and later says what it is. For example, a snow cone does not match an ice cream cone but rather a syrup treat and a block of shredded ice. 

Uses of a Definition Paragraph


1. Good Flow 

The definition paragraph helps in explaining similar thoughts together. 

It separates the ones that carry a different idea.

We use these paragraphs to organize the thoughts into coherent and readable content.

Every paragraph has a purpose; hence it makes it unique by talking about a certain idea before ending. 

The essay could appear cluttered, causing resistance from the reader even if you are touching on an interesting topic.

The reader should not be interested in following what you are talking about in the essay. 

2. To Enhance Readability

The audience will get bored by reading a whole topic that lacks breaks. It becomes interesting when you structure your thoughts in indefinite paragraphs. The reader will follow you well and understand your arguments step by step. 

More importantly, it will be easier to read a piece with paragraphs than going through a bunch of texts that lack breaks. You can arouse the interest of your audience by putting your thoughts in paragraphs sequentially. 

3. Enhance Your Understanding

One of the major uses of definition paragraphs is to enhance the understanding of the audience. Such paragraphs define certain terms that could be difficult for the reader to understand, making things work well for the reader.

One way of keeping your audience glued to your page is to ensure they understand what you are talking about. 

4. Showcasing Knowledge

The role of a definition paragraph is to assist the writer in showcasing knowledge about a particular topic in an efficient and organized manner.  The design helps in segregating a topic and exploring it in-depth based on your writing style. 

5. Accuracy

A definition paragraph is an excellent strategy that includes all important aspects of the topic that appear in the piece. The writer gets to include all important facts that enhance that topic hence making the content accurate. 

Examples of Definition Paragraph Topics

Example 1


A racist is a person who likes discriminating against people by race or outer appearance. Racism starts be one raising a child and injecting negative thoughts relating to personal reasons. For instance, a racist’s family will radicalize the kids to hate other people of a different color. If one visits a different country and encounters discrimination based on race. Racism is a vice that shows a form of hatred toward certain people. Most racism uses mental abuse, or they can extend it to injure you physically.

Furthermore, a racist will harbor a certain attitude to make them believe that they have that they are better than other people of different races. Racism is a negative concept that presses down on people for no apparent reason. It is a form of ignorance that promotes inequity, and it is sensible for it to end to allow other people to co-exist freely. 

Example 2


An email is a non-tangible thing that you send electronically to your recipient. An email is a digital mail that one sends to the recipient via the Internet; hence one does not require a stamp to send it. Due to technological advances, one can send an email anytime to any place, depending on the internet connection. One must not wait for the post office to open before sending it. Your role is to write the draft, proofread the content, and hit the send button. The person sending this mail does not require a postage stamp but rather the cost of internet access. Email is the fastest way for communication which several businesses use by only pushing a button. Physical emailing is declining as email communication is taking over rapidly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the structure of a definitive paragraph?

The starting point of such a paragraph is to feature a simple definition that becomes the topic sentence.

The role of this topic sentence is to offer a simple definition. You can support the sentence by adding more details using an explanation or examples. 

How many words should feature in a definition paragraph?

There is no specific limit towards creating definitive paragraphs.  However, we can point out that the standard ones can range from 100 to 200 words.

However, this rule still has more exceptions. Every paragraph should deal with a single idea. The author should express the ideal and support it with relevant examples to make it interesting.