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noun sub·ject \ˈsəb-jikt, -(ˌ)jekt\

Simple Definition of subject

  • : 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

  1. 1 :  one that is placed under authority or control: asa :  vassalb (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

  2. 2a :  that of which a quality, attribute, or relation may be affirmed or in which it may inhereb :  substratum; especially :  material or essential substancec :  the mind, ego, or agent of whatever sort that sustains or assumes the form of thought or consciousness

  3. 3a :  a department of knowledge or learningb :  motive, causec (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 dissectiond (1) :  something concerning which something is said or done <the subject of the essay> (2) :  something represented or indicated in a work of arte (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 predicatedf :  the principal melodic phrase on which a musical composition or movement is based

sub·ject·less play \-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

Synonym Discussion of subject

citizen, subject, national mean a person owing allegiance to and entitled to the protection of a sovereign state. citizen is preferred for one owing allegiance to a state in which sovereign power is retained by the people and sharing in the political rights of those people <the rights of a free citizen>. subject implies allegiance to a personal sovereign such as a monarch <the king's subjects>. national designates one who may claim the protection of a state and applies especially to one living or traveling outside that state <American nationals working in the Middle East>.



adjective sub·ject

Simple Definition of subject

  • : under the control of a ruler

Full Definition of subject

  1. 1 :  owing obedience or allegiance to the power or dominion of another

  2. 2a :  suffering a particular liability or exposure <subject to temptation>b :  having a tendency or inclination :  prone <subject to colds>

  3. 3 :  contingent on or under the influence of some later action <the plan is subject to discussion>

14th Century

First Known Use of subject

14th century

Synonym Discussion of subject

liable, open, exposed, subject, prone, susceptible, sensitive mean being by nature or through circumstances likely to experience something adverse. liable implies a possibility or probability of incurring something because of position, nature, or particular situation <liable to get lost>. open stresses a lack of barriers preventing incurrence <a claim open to question>. exposed suggests lack of protection or powers of resistance against something actually present or threatening <exposed to infection>. subject implies an openness for any reason to something that must be suffered or undergone <all reports are subject to review>. prone stresses natural tendency or propensity to incur something <prone to delay>. susceptible implies conditions existing in one's nature or individual constitution that make incurrence probable <very susceptible to flattery>. sensitive implies a readiness to respond to or be influenced by forces or stimuli <unduly sensitive to criticism>.

Both liable and apt when followed by an infinitive are used nearly interchangeably with likely. Although conflicting advice has been given over the years, most current commentators accept apt when so used. They generally recommend limiting liable to situations having an undesirable outcome, and our evidence shows that in edited writing it is more often so used than not.



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

Definition of subject

  1. 1a :  to bring under control or dominion :  subjugateb :  to make (as oneself) amenable to the discipline and control of a superior

  2. 2 :  to make liable :  predispose

  3. 3 :  to cause or force to undergo or endure (something unpleasant, inconvenient, or trying) <was subjected to constant verbal abuse>

sub·jec·tion play \səb-ˈjek-shən\ noun

Examples of subject

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

14th Century

First Known Use of subject

14th century

Medical Dictionary


noun sub·ject \ˈsəb-jikt\

Medical Definition of subject

  1. 1:  an individual whose reactions or responses are studied

  2. 2:  a dead body for anatomical study and dissection

Seen and Heard

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February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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