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

The subject matter is somewhat familiar, albeit clever in exploring vampiric tendencies, and the story derivative at times. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Clever 'Vampire Uprising': These blood-suckers are demanding their civil rights!," 5 June 2018 The subject matter is a little disturbing, particularly since some of the [nude] models were his daughters. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "Reading the Writing on His Walls," 20 Sep. 2017 What drew you to this subject matter to begin with?, "R.O. Kwon's The Incendiaries Gives A Glimpse Into A Cult's Magnetic Pull," 6 July 2018 There is much to admire here, but the sheer scope of the subject matter might be even better served by the capaciousness of a mini-series. Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, "Review: In ‘This Is Congo,’ Four Lives Shaken by Conflict," 28 June 2018 All of that is lightened by humor along the way, though occasionally triggered at awkward moments, as if out of concern that the audience might get too uncomfortable with the subject matter. Tim Smith,, "At Everyman Theatre, 'Book of Joseph' provides intriguing drama of family secrets, regrets," 18 May 2018 The other part of it is just, someone’s got to do it. … A lot of prosecutors aren’t in a big hurry to step up and join this unit because of the subject matter. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "Incumbent, prosecutor tout experience in runoff for 187th state District Court nomination," 9 May 2018 Because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, not all parents or guardians in this article agreed to be quoted by name. Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press, "The tiniest addicts: How U.P. babies became part of opioid epidemic," 2 May 2018 But the subject matter also gave him plenty of options. Mitch Stacy,, "Psychology museum explores what makes us human," 10 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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Last Updated

9 Oct 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

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a state of commotion or excitement

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