noun sub·ject \ˈsəb-jikt, -(ˌ)jekt\

: the person or thing that is being discussed or described

: an area of knowledge that is studied in school

: a person or thing that is being dealt with in a particular way

Full Definition of SUBJECT

:  one that is placed under authority or control: as
a :  vassal
b (1) :  one subject to a monarch and governed by the monarch's law
(2) :  one who lives in the territory of, enjoys the protection of, and owes allegiance to a sovereign power or state
a :  that of which a quality, attribute, or relation may be affirmed or in which it may inhere
b :  substratum; especially :  material or essential substance
c :  the mind, ego, or agent of whatever sort that sustains or assumes the form of thought or consciousness
a :  a department of knowledge or learning
b :  motive, cause
c (1) :  one that is acted on <the helpless subject of their cruelty>
(2) :  an individual whose reactions or responses are studied (3) :  a dead body for anatomical study and dissection
d (1) :  something concerning which something is said or done <the subject of the essay>
(2) :  something represented or indicated in a work of art
e (1) :  the term of a logical proposition that denotes the entity of which something is affirmed or denied; also :  the entity denoted
(2) :  a word or word group denoting that of which something is predicated
f :  the principal melodic phrase on which a musical composition or movement is based
sub·ject·less \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of SUBJECT

  1. The new museum is the subject of an article in today's paper.
  2. Death is a difficult subject that few people like to talk about.
  3. I need to break the news to her, but I'm not sure how to bring up the subject.
  4. If you're interested in linguistics, I know an excellent book on the subject.
  5. an excellent book on the subject of linguistics
  6. These meetings would be much shorter if we could keep him from getting off the subject.
  7. The morality of capital punishment is a frequent subject of debate.
  8. Chemistry was my favorite subject in high school.
  9. The classes cover a variety of subject areas, including mathematics and English.

Origin of SUBJECT

Middle English suget, subget, from Anglo-French, from Latin subjectus one under authority & subjectum subject of a proposition, from masculine & neuter respectively of subjectus, past participle of subicere to subject, literally, to throw under, from sub- + jacere to throw — more at jet
First Known Use: 14th century



: under the control of a ruler

Full Definition of SUBJECT

:  owing obedience or allegiance to the power or dominion of another
a :  suffering a particular liability or exposure <subject to temptation>
b :  having a tendency or inclination :  prone <subject to colds>
:  contingent on or under the influence of some later action <the plan is subject to discussion>

First Known Use of SUBJECT

14th century


transitive verb sub·ject \səb-ˈjekt, ˈsəb-ˌjekt\

Definition of SUBJECT

a :  to bring under control or dominion :  subjugate
b :  to make (as oneself) amenable to the discipline and control of a superior
:  to make liable :  predispose
:  to cause or force to undergo or endure (something unpleasant, inconvenient, or trying) <was subjected to constant verbal abuse>
sub·jec·tion \səb-ˈjek-shən\ noun

Examples of SUBJECT

  1. <Attila the Hun subjected most of Europe to his barbaric pillage.>

First Known Use of SUBJECT

14th century


noun sub·ject \ˈsəb-jikt\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SUBJECT

:  an individual whose reactions or responses are studied
:  a dead body for anatomical study and dissection


Next Word in the Dictionary: subjectablePrevious Word in the Dictionary: subjacentAll Words Near: subject
May 30, 2015
metadata Hear it
data about other data
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears