adjective \(ˌ)səb-ˈjek-tiv\

philosophy : relating to the way a person experiences things in his or her own mind

: based on feelings or opinions rather than facts

grammar : relating to nouns, noun phrases, or pronouns that are the subjects of verbs

Full Definition of SUBJECTIVE

:  of, relating to, or constituting a subject: as
a obsolete :  of, relating to, or characteristic of one that is a subject especially in lack of freedom of action or in submissiveness
b :  being or relating to a grammatical subject; especially :  nominative
:  of or relating to the essential being of that which has substance, qualities, attributes, or relations
a :  characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind :  phenomenal — compare objective 1b
b :  relating to or being experience or knowledge as conditioned by personal mental characteristics or states
a (1) :  peculiar to a particular individual :  personal <subjective judgments> (2) :  modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background <a subjective account of the incident>
b :  arising from conditions within the brain or sense organs and not directly caused by external stimuli <subjective sensations>
c :  arising out of or identified by means of one's perception of one's own states and processes <a subjective symptom of disease> — compare objective 1c
:  lacking in reality or substance :  illusory
sub·jec·tive·ly adverb
sub·jec·tive·ness noun
sub·jec·tiv·i·ty \-ˌjek-ˈti-və-tē\ noun

Examples of SUBJECTIVE

  1. Dreaming is a subjective experience.
  2. a person's subjective perception of the world
  3. Personal taste in clothing is very subjective.
  4. In reviewing applicants, we consider both objective criteria, such as test scores, and subjective criteria, such as leadership ability.
  5. Law can be maddeningly subjective. So much is left up to your own interpretation.
  6. Art is never a commodity. Commodities are identical units of sure value—bushels of wheat, say—whose price fluctuates from time to time and place to place. Art works are one-of-a-kind … items, materially worthless, which have in common that a price is asked for them. Their value is entirely subjective. —Peter Schjedlahl, New Yorker, 16 Feb. 2009


(see 1subject)
First Known Use: 15th century


noun \(ˌ)səb-ˈjek-tiv\

Definition of SUBJECTIVE

:  something that is subjective (see 1subjective); also :  nominative


(see 1subject)
First Known Use: 1817

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile


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