subject matter


Definition of subject matter 

: matter presented for consideration in discussion, thought, or study

Examples of subject matter in a Sentence

I found the film's subject matter to be quite disturbing. She disapproves of the artist's choice of subject matter.

Recent Examples on the Web

Narratively, his storytelling fell within the gendai-geki genre of film, television, and theater, mining contemporary Japanese life for its subject matter. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Celebrate Yasujirō Ozu," 12 Dec. 2018 Afterward, judges will be able to ask questions about the project and the subject matter. Cody Boteler,, "Four Catonsville Middle School students advance to National History Day competition," 22 May 2018 There’s also a certain hopeful takeaway that might be unexpected, given the work’s underlying subject matter. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Falling Out, the Haunting Final Installment of Phantom Limb’s Nature Trilogy, Premieres at BAM," 7 Nov. 2018 Controversy hasn’t stopped Kerby from continuing to explore complex subject matter that others in the industry might typically shy away from. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Kerby Jean-Raymond on Pyer Moss' 'American Also' Campaign and Criticism of His 'Stop Calling 911' Shirt," 6 Nov. 2018 This may be depicting a family’s story in the recent past, but there is hardly a more timely subject matter to explore. Lindsey Bahr, The Seattle Times, "‘Beautiful Boy’: an honest look at an ugly addiction," 16 Oct. 2018 None of this is typical subject matter for tomb paintings from the Greek or Roman periods. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient “comic strip” depicts the founding of a Roman city," 10 Oct. 2018 Chivers’s reportage writing style is fantastic in regard to subject matter. Matt Young, Popular Mechanics, "In 'The Fighters,' A Pulitzer Prize–Winning War Reporter Strips Iraq and Afghanistan to the Bone," 9 Aug. 2018 Though colors and size were right, the art’s subject matter didn’t quite fit the room. Marni Jameson,, "7 mistakes rookie DIY decorators make," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subject matter.' 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 matter

1657, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for subject matter

Last Updated

18 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for subject matter

The first known use of subject matter was in 1657

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More Definitions for subject matter

subject matter


English Language Learners Definition of subject matter

: the information or ideas that are discussed or dealt with in a book, movie, etc. : what something is about

More from Merriam-Webster on subject matter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with subject matter Encyclopedia article about subject matter

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