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 Crime was easily the number one issue on the candidates’ minds during the editorial board interview, with more than an hour devoted to the subject. cleveland, 16 July 2021 For decades, science fiction writers have been drawn to the subject of ecology: the study of the interconnection between living beings and their environment. Washington Post, 12 July 2021 This story, personalized by our experts, enables our audiences to relate to the subject and internalize the lessons shared. Arkansas Online, 6 July 2021 Posts that are not related to the subject at hand may also be removed. The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 June 2021 Experiential learning is such a powerful way of bringing reality to a subject or a solution to a problem. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 29 June 2021 In 2002, Dalton, by then a postgraduate student in history, returned to the subject. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 28 June 2021 Twice when the interview turned to the subject of Streep. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, 23 June 2021 Michaux instantly took to the subject and worked his way up, including a stint as an apprentice on an expedition to the mountains of Auvergne, in France, with Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, the giant of 18th-century naturalism. Shaun Assael, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective However, the list is subject to change prior to final approval. Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN, 17 July 2021 Companies that engage in transactions in U.S. dollars could also be subject to provisions of the embargo, Michael Touchton, an associate professor of political science at the University of Miami, said in an email. Daniel Funke, USA TODAY, 16 July 2021 Continuing claims for the week ending on July 3 are advance measures which are subject to revision as more information is collected from states. Andrew Mollica, WSJ, 16 July 2021 The Government Accountability Office reported that most of the 748 hardrock mines on federal lands in 2018 are not subject to royalties. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, 16 July 2021 Union officials, however, say the mandate should be subject to negotiation. Jenna Carlesso, courant.com, 16 July 2021 Those numbers are subject to change based on public input and final planning. Anjali Huynh, ajc, 16 July 2021 Anyone who chose to do business that way was subject to certain legal duties, including nondiscrimination. Gilad Edelman, Wired, 15 July 2021 The accuser could testify at the hearing and be subject to cross-examination from Bauer’s attorneys. Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Going forward, only wind and solar projects will subject to local control at the county level as the bill does not apply to projects that relate to other forms of energy, including fossil fuels and nuclear power. Peter Krouse, cleveland, 12 July 2021 Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer could subject himself to significant legal liability by testifying at a hearing to consider whether a restraining order against him should remain in force, according to Los Angeles-area family law attorneys. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 7 July 2021 The law, which Republican Gov. Mike Parson signed this month, would subject law enforcement agencies with officers who knowingly enforce any federal gun laws to a fine of about $50,000 per violating officer. CBS News, 22 June 2021 The law, which Republican Gov. Mike Parson signed this month, would subject law enforcement agencies with officers who knowingly enforce any federal gun laws to a fine of about $50,000 per violating officer. Jim Salter, Star Tribune, 21 June 2021 New rules proposed by the European Union would subject such AI hiring systems to tighter regulation. NBC News, 15 June 2021 New rules proposed by the European Union would subject such AI hiring systems to tighter regulation. Matt O'brien, chicagotribune.com, 15 June 2021 The companies subject to the order have one day from learning about a crash involving ADS/ADAS to file an initial report with NHTSA, and 10 days to follow up with more details. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 6 July 2021 The complaint that any attempt to subject Trump to legal accountability is politically motivated is not a new refrain. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 2 July 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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Statistics for subject

Last Updated

18 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Subject.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subject. Accessed 26 Jul. 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
: 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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