As the name depicts a definition essay is meant to define any concept, term or any word etc. In order to provide the reader with the meaning in-depth of a certain subject which cannot be defined accordingly an ordinary man.
This might be confusing as to what can there be which cannot be defined. So a simple reply to this is a general discussion that there are certain things that have a physical existence like plants, trees, animal, humans etc. They, not only have physical existence, but these things also are agreed upon universally of having specific physical properties and their uses. However certain other things which do not exist physically are still there like human feelings of fear, love, pain patriotism etc. They do not hold the same meaning for each individual. Such other terms like those above are called abstract terms as they rely more upon individual feelings rather than their own physical sense.
This is where the function of the definition essay starts by providing an extended personal definition and this all is done by creating links and comparisons with the preceding definition and by presenting and applying the manner of most appropriate use of the term.
In other words it can be said that definition essay relate to terms that abstract depending more upon the person’s own point of view rather than defining such terms that are already definite and concrete enough.
Writing a definition essay is basically a three step process whereby the writer initially helps the reader to identify the term which is being defined, to put forth clear and most basic information and help the reader in better understanding and keep his interest in the writing using examples, facts or anecdotes whichever suites the most appropriate in the circumstances of the case.