subject

noun
sub·​ject | \ ˈsəb-jikt How to pronounce subject (audio) , -(ˌ)jekt \

Definition of subject

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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
2a : 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
3a : 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
(4) : a person who has engaged in activity that a federal prosecutor has identified as being within the scope of a federal grand jury investigation Most white-collar criminal defendants started out as subjects of a grand jury investigation," said Bruce Green, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at Fordham.— Adam Serwer
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

subject

adjective

Definition of subject (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : owing obedience or allegiance to the power or dominion of another
2a : 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

subject

verb
sub·​ject | \ səb-ˈjekt How to pronounce subject (audio) , ˈsəb-ˌjekt \
subjected; subjecting; subjects

Definition of subject (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : 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

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Other Words from subject

Noun

subjectless \ ˈsəb-​jikt-​ləs How to pronounce subjectless (audio) , -​(ˌ)jekt-​ \ adjective

Verb

subjection \ səb-​ˈjek-​shən How to pronounce subjection (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for subject

Noun

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

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

Examples of subject in a Sentence

Noun The new museum is the subject of an article in today's paper. Death is a difficult subject that few people like to talk about. I need to break the news to her, but I'm not sure how to bring up the subject. If you're interested in linguistics, I know an excellent book on the subject. an excellent book on the subject of linguistics These meetings would be much shorter if we could keep him from getting off the subject. The morality of capital punishment is a frequent subject of debate. Chemistry was my favorite subject in high school. The classes cover a variety of subject areas, including mathematics and English. Verb Attila the Hun subjected most of Europe to his barbaric pillage.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The life of Oscar-winning lyricist Howard Ashman, who died at age 40 from AIDS, is the subject of this touching documentary. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "What to stream this weekend: Seth Rogen's 'American Pickle,' horror flick 'She Dies Tomorrow'," 7 Aug. 2020 Her iconoclastic work is the subject of a new book, The Sky Is Blue With a Single Cloud, a career-spanning collection of Tsurita’s comics, released this summer. Gabrielle Bellot, The Atlantic, "The Groundbreaking Female Artist Who Shaped Manga History," 5 Aug. 2020 Figures like Brown have been the subject of right-wing messaging and attack ads for generations. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "This Is How Trump Will Try to Take Down Kamala Harris," 5 Aug. 2020 President Bill Clinton was the subject of one of Epstein's many pieces of eclectic art. Mola Lenghi, CBS News, "For Sale: "Gargantuan" NYC mansion, home to Epstein horrors," 5 Aug. 2020 And Charles and Councilor Monica Alcocer, who voted to remove Martinez, are the subject of recall elections in November. Scott Huddleston, ExpressNews.com, "Yet another council member could get thrown out in San Antonio suburb roiled by divisive politics," 5 Aug. 2020 Falwell has been the subject of several recent controversies. Washington Examiner, "'I'm gonna try to be a good boy': Jerry Falwell Jr. apologizes for vacation photo showing pants unzipped," 5 Aug. 2020 Hart might be partly referring to his own experiences with being the subject of online controversy. James Hibberd, EW.com, "Kevin Hart blasts Ellen DeGeneres critics: 'This hate s--- has got to stop'," 4 Aug. 2020 The match has since been the subject of several documentaries and films. Dennis Passa, Star Tribune, "1956 Melbourne Olympics: 1st Games in southern hemisphere," 3 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Hours are subject to change during the pandemic, so call ahead. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, "Want a seafood boil to go? This popular Phoenix restaurant is back for a weekend pop-up," 8 Aug. 2020 The group was created under the umbrella of AdvanceCT, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the business climate and isn’t subject to FOI. Jon Lender, courant.com, "Jon Lender: What is up with the Lamont administration and freedom of information?," 8 Aug. 2020 To be sure, the real impact of the executive orders is still subject to the government's interpretation. Rong Xiaoqing, Wired, "Trump's WeChat Ban May Alienate His Chinese Supporters," 8 Aug. 2020 Those who own international stocks are subject to currency fluctuations, so if the dollar falls, that means your foreign stocks are worth more once they’re converted to our currency. Ben Carlson, Fortune, "A weakening U.S. dollar makes these 3 assets more attractive for your portfolio," 8 Aug. 2020 Season ticket holders who defer payments until next season can participate in a home playoff game ticket lottery, should the Lions host a playoff game at Ford Field this season, and their seats will be subject to a price freeze. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions offering opt-outs, refunds to season ticket holders; no tailgating this fall," 7 Aug. 2020 Individuals are not covered by the rule and are not subject to penalties. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "New Illinois rules about wearing a face mask in public are in effect. Here’s everything to know.," 7 Aug. 2020 Any company still doing business with TikTok in 45 days is subject to sanctions, according to the order. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Trump issues order to block U.S. transactions with TikTok parent company ByteDance," 7 Aug. 2020 Almost 9% of JPMorgan’s residential real estate portfolio was subject to payment deferrals, representing nearly three-quarters of the total $28.3 billion of consumer loans in deferral. Payne Lubbers, Bloomberg.com, "Biggest U.S. Banks Have More Than $150 Billion of Deferred Loans," 6 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The drawback, of course, is that some of the drugs are equivalent to surgical castration, something many men might be reluctant to subject themselves to even though the treatment would be administered only until the danger passed. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Male sex hormones appear to help the coronavirus infiltrate human cells," 8 July 2020 This year, players have worked on their own to stay in shape, but rushing back to full action too quickly can subject them to additional risk of injury. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "As NFL training camps draw closer, big questions about coronavirus protocols still linger," 1 July 2020 Why did Barr subject himself and Trump to ridicule and controversy to get Berman out of the way? Joyce White Vance, Time, "Americans Need to Know the Truth About William Barr's Friday Night Massacre. We Can't Afford to Wait," 22 June 2020 Revoking the city's special status will subject its exports to the high tariffs the president levied against China during his ongoing trade war. Mary E. Lovely For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Trump's removal of Hong Kong's special status hurts the US more than China," 22 June 2020 The reports said all TABC permit holders were notified on June 15 that failure to follow Abbott’s minimum health and safety protocols would subject them to emergency suspension of their licenses or permits. Claire Ballor, Dallas News, "Permits suspended for North Texas bars as authorities crack down on capacity limits," 22 June 2020 The Bank of England began stress-testing the U.K. financial system against climate risks last year, while the Bank of France has pledged this year to subject banks and insurers to stress tests. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Biden may use financial regulations to slow fossil fuel investments," 18 June 2020 Laws guarding medical records tend to be fierce, and regulators are still wrestling with the question of how exactly to subject AI systems to clinical trials. The Economist, "Brain scan The potential and the pitfalls of medical AI," 11 June 2020 In the meantime, coercive control became an offense in England and Wales, and new evidence provided by psychiatrists showed that Challen had been subjected to it, which led to the quashing of her initial sentence. Elian Peltier, BostonGlobe.com, "Abused woman who killed husband is granted the family’s UK estate," 1 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of subject

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for subject

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for subject

Time Traveler

The first known use of subject was in the 14th century

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Statistics for subject

Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subject.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subject. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for subject

subject

noun
How to pronounce subject (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of subject

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

subject

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of subject (Entry 2 of 2)

: under the control of a ruler

subject

noun
sub·​ject | \ ˈsəb-jikt How to pronounce subject (audio) \

Kids Definition of subject

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

subject

adjective

Kids Definition of subject (Entry 2 of 3)

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.

subject

verb
sub·​ject | \ səb-ˈjekt How to pronounce subject (audio) \
subjected; subjecting

Kids Definition of subject (Entry 3 of 3)

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.

subject

noun
sub·​ject | \ ˈsəb-jikt How to pronounce subject (audio) \

Medical Definition of subject

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

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subject

noun
sub·​ject | \ ˈsəb-ˌjekt How to pronounce subject (audio) \

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 sense b, policyholder

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More from Merriam-Webster on subject

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for subject

Spanish Central: Translation of subject

Nglish: Translation of subject for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of subject for Arabic Speakers

Comments on subject

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