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
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
(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 subject (audio) , -​(ˌ)jekt-​ \ adjective

Verb

subjection \ səb-​ˈjek-​shən How to pronounce subject (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 Because the technology is immersive and without the constraints of boundaries or time, students are able to learn nearly any subject in new ways. Kristen Griffith, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 13 Sep. 2021 The massive breach in U.S. security helped drive technological innovation within the U.S. intelligence community, with the unmanned aerial drone being the most impressive (how those drones are used is another subject entirely). Daniel Depetris, National Review, 11 Sep. 2021 Brian Webster: … there's a Walther semiautomatic pistol located in very close proximity to the deceased subject there. Tracy Smith, CBS News, 11 Sep. 2021 And a request, one that each subject seems to be making of the viewer: Ask us about these details. Elliot Ackerman, The Atlantic, 10 Sep. 2021 This framework addresses tax issues and questions revolving around this subject. Tony Raval, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 Recent books about California have threatened to wring the subject dry of angles and premises. Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 2021 The producing team of Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon are uniquely suited to tackle this complicated subject. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 9 Sep. 2021 That may not be the most inviting route into the subject’s life and work for the uninitiated. Guy Lodge, Variety, 8 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Across Wisconsin, unvaccinated state employees or state employees who did not share their vaccination status will be subject to weekly testing, Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 Sep. 2021 Businesses that do not comply are subject to fines of $14,000 per violation. Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 In addition to wearing distinctive uniforms, the program’s private security guards would be required to carry business cards with their names while working, train in de-escalation tactics and be subject to a citizen complaint process. oregonlive, 15 Sep. 2021 Officials insist that every Afghan headed for the country is subject to extensive vetting that includes thorough biometric and biographic screenings conducted by intelligence, law enforcement and counterterrorism personnel. Jill Colvin, ajc, 15 Sep. 2021 Companies that fail to comply with the rule from the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration could be subject to fines of $14,000 per violation. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 15 Sep. 2021 Officials insist that every Afghan headed for the country is subject to extensive vetting that includes thorough biometric and biographic screenings conducted by intelligence, law enforcement and counterterrorism personnel. Jill Colvin, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Sep. 2021 Some 100 million workers would be subject to the requirement, Biden said. Time, 15 Sep. 2021 Some 100 million workers would be subject to the requirement, Biden said. Darlene Superville, chicagotribune.com, 15 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In this case, Sanders had to overcome an actual car accident to subject his body to the rigors of SEC football. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, 8 Sep. 2021 And this must be demonstrated with quantifiable business metrics and trending analysis that proves the company’s security and risk posture doesn’t subject the organization to a costly, brand-damaging breach. Robert Potter, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2021 Violating the ordinance would subject the homeowners association or property manager to daily fines of up to $500 and up to 60 days in prison, the Herald reported. Austen Erblat, sun-sentinel.com, 23 Aug. 2021 The bill would treat corporations or labor organizations that make political contributions or expenditures as political contributing entities, and would subject the entities to report all sources of donations. Laura Hancock, cleveland, 26 July 2021 That discrimination, an apparent favor to powerful local businesses, was reason enough to subject the law to the most demanding form of constitutional scrutiny, Judge Hinkle wrote. Adam Liptak, New York Times, 12 July 2021 His lawyers argue lethal injection would subject him to cruel and unusual pain and that Floyd prefers safer alternatives, including a firing squad or a single dose of a barbiturate. Scott Sonner, ajc, 29 June 2021 In California, school employees are required to be vaccinated or subject themselves to regular testing. Karen Kaplan Science And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2021 Other employers have given workers a choice: get the vaccine, or subject yourself to an onerous set of rules, like weekly tests, mask requirements and social distancing demands. Harry Enten, CNN, 12 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near subject

subjacent

subject

subjectable

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Statistics for subject

Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Subject.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subject. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for subject

subject

noun

English Language Learners Definition of subject

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the person or thing that is being discussed or described : topic
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on subject

Nglish: Translation of subject for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of subject for Arabic Speakers

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