1

subject

noun sub·ject \ ˈsəb-jikt , -(ˌ)jekt \

Definition of subject

1 :one that is placed under authority or control: such 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
2 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
3 a :a department of knowledge or learning
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

subjectless

play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of subject in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of subject from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subject.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology 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

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

2

subject

adjective

Definition of subject

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

Recent Examples of subject from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subject.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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

3

subject

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

Definition of subject

transitive verb
1 a :to bring under control or dominion :subjugate
b :to make (someone, such as oneself) amenable to the discipline and control of a superior
2 :to make liable :predispose
3 :to cause or force to undergo or endure (something unpleasant, inconvenient, or trying)
  • was subjected to constant verbal abuse

subjection

play \səb-ˈjek-shən\ noun

Examples of subject in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of subject from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subject.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of subject

14th century



SUBJECT Defined for Kids

1

subject

noun sub·ject \ ˈsəb-jikt \

Definition of subject for Students

1 :the person or thing discussed :topic
  • She's the subject of rumors.
  • Let's change the subject.
2 :an area of knowledge that is studied in school
  • Geography is my favorite subject.
3 :a person who owes loyalty to a monarch or state
4 :a person under the authority or control of another
5 :the word or group of words about which the predicate makes a statement
6 :a person or animal that is studied or experimented on

2

subject

adjective

Definition of subject for Students

1 :owing obedience or loyalty to another
  • The people were subject to their king.
2 :possible or likely to be affected by
  • The schedule is subject to change.
  • The area is subject to flooding.
3 :depending on
  • I'll send the samples subject to your approval.

3

subject

verb sub·ject \ səb-ˈjekt \

Definition of subject for Students

subjected; subjecting
1 :to bring under control or rule
  • The Romans subjected much of Europe.
2 :to cause to put up with
  • My parents are unwilling to subject us to embarrassment.

Medical Dictionary

subject

noun sub·ject \ ˈsəb-jikt \

medical Definition of subject

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

Law Dictionary

subject

noun sub·ject \ ˈsəb-ˌjekt \

legal Definition of subject

:the person upon whose life a life insurance policy is written and upon whose death the policy is payable :insured — compare beneficiary b, policyholder


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