[ toh-pohs, ‐pos ]
/ ˈtoʊ poʊs, ‐pɒs /

noun, plural to·poi [toh-poi] /ˈtoʊ pɔɪ/.

a convention or motif, especially in a literary work; a rhetorical convention.

Nearby words

  1. topolski,
  2. toponarcosis,
  3. toponym,
  4. toponymic,
  5. toponymy,
  6. topotype,
  7. topper,
  8. toppie,
  9. topping,
  10. topping lift

Origin of topos

First recorded in 1935–40, topos is from the Greek word (koinós) tópos ‘(common) place’ Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for topoi

  • Again, under the seventh head, that of melopoiia or composition, he treats of the 'regions of the voice' (topoi ts phns).

  • The text of this passage is uncertain; but the general character of the topoi or regions of the voice is clearly enough indicated.

British Dictionary definitions for topoi


/ (ˈtɒpɒs) /

noun plural -oi (-ɔɪ)

a basic theme or concept, esp a stock topic in rhetoric

Word Origin for topos

C20: Greek, literally: place

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for topoi



1948, from Greek topos, literally "place."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper