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 Most informative are scrappy works by Iraqi artists whose struggle to make art becomes a subject in itself. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The Art of War in “Theater of Operations”," 25 Nov. 2019 In the week ahead, an unexpected bill or expense can become the subject of aggravation. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Nov. 24, 2019: Happy birthday Katherine Heigl; Taurus, share a meal with someone new," 24 Nov. 2019 Apartments: Prices based on availability and subject to change. Pamela Dittmer Mckuen, chicagotribune.com, "Apartment Hunt: Pet spa, private work-from-home suites, bicycle tuneup stations, The Marke of Elmhurst offers an array of amenities," 21 Nov. 2019 The proposal is the first attempt by federal lawmakers to restrict law enforcement's use of the technology, which has become the subject of growing public opposition, with several U.S. cities banning its use by local authorities this year. Jon Schuppe, NBC News, "New federal bill would restrict police use of facial recognition," 14 Nov. 2019 On her first day of school, Bridges was escorted by fire marshals past crowds of screaming protestors — an image that would later become the subject of an iconic Norman Rockwell painting — into the school, which was hardly more welcoming. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "#SeeHer Story Honors Civil Rights Leader Ruby Bridges on Anniversary of Attending White School," 14 Nov. 2019 That July call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky, who succeeded Poroshenko, would become the subject of a whistleblower complaint, and eventually lead House Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s conduct. BostonGlobe.com, "‘‘There isn’t anything that Parnas did in the Ukraine relative to the Bidens or the 2016 election that he wasn’t asked to do by Giuliani, who was acting on the direction of the president,’’ MacMahon said.," 9 Nov. 2019 The incident became the subject of the 2004 documentary Banned in Oklahoma. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Oscars: International Film Race Puts Spotlight on Extreme Female Characters," 8 Nov. 2019 Centuries later, after rubber’s properties had become a subject of fascination for European scientists, a Scottish chemist named Charles Macintosh got the idea to use it to affix two pieces of cloth together. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "The North Face’s new fabric is the latest attempt in an endless struggle to stay dry," 31 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Foreign nongovernmental groups have already been subject to growing Chinese government pressure since 2016, when the country passed a wide-reaching law strictly regulating their operations in the country. New York Times, "China Hits Back at U.S. Over Hong Kong Bill in a Mostly Symbolic Move," 2 Dec. 2019 Items found before then are subject to removal without notice or reimbursement. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Iron Bowl 2019: Complete fan guide to Alabama at Auburn," 29 Nov. 2019 The first shot fired was a report from Bank of America’s Jared Woodard and Derek Harris, who argued bonds no longer offer diversification, and over the longer term, bonds will be subject to more volatility. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "The 60-40 split between stocks and bonds was once solid financial advice—but no longer," 29 Nov. 2019 But biologic medicines have been subject to different rules. Laura Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "FDA seeks to clear hurdles for biosimilar insulin in attempt to cut costs for diabetes patients," 28 Nov. 2019 Dicamba formulations XtendiMax by Monsanto, Engenia by BASF, FeXapan by DuPont and Tavium by Syngenta will be subject to the state cutoff. Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Minnesota sets cutoff date for dicamba herbicide products," 27 Nov. 2019 Highly sensitive data, such as biometric data and geolocation data, would also be subject to stronger standards for protection and use. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Senate takes another stab at privacy law with proposed COPRA bill," 26 Nov. 2019 Alcoholics and recovering alcoholics are subject to protection under both acts, according to information on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ and U.S. Department of Justice’s websites. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Sober living home files federal discrimination complaint against Hinsdale," 26 Nov. 2019 The site was subject to some controversy after delays in the start of construction. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "Crews racing against weather on Day 2 search for missing worker after building collapse," 26 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In June 2018, three African-American men filed a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Thursday alleging they were threatened and subjected to racial slurs while working on an office tower in San Francisco. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "Apple Park construction workers racially harassed, lawsuit accuses subcontractor," 18 Nov. 2019 Fuel costs fall hardest on lower-wage workers, who have been increasingly pushed to outer suburbs and subjected to long commutes because of rising urban rents. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Companies Can Help Fight Inequality. It Starts with More ‘Remote Workers’," 18 Nov. 2019 Every morning, at dawn, the planet is subjected to a spray of micrometeoroids, according to NASA. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Small Yet Mighty Mercury Still Holds Many Mysteries," 9 Nov. 2019 He was captured in 2002 in Dubai; subjected to waterboarding, sleep deprivation, a mock execution and other violence in the C.I.A. secret prison network; and then transferred in 2006 to Guantánamo for trial. Carol Rosenberg, New York Times, "Judge Rules Prosecutors Misrepresented Evidence From C.I.A. Sites," 8 Nov. 2019 Hermine Horvath, an Austrian Roma woman deported first to Auschwitz-Birkenau and later to Ravensbrück, was similarly subjected to medical experimentation. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "London Library Spotlights Nazi Persecution of the Roma and Sinti," 8 Nov. 2019 Aniston, 50, and Witherspoon, 43 — who star together in the new Apple Plus series The Morning Show — dropped by The Graham Norton Show on Friday and were subjected to a pop Friends quiz. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon Take a Friends Quiz — and They Totally Crush It," 1 Nov. 2019 According to a Journal Sentinel story, Oconomowoc school officials are investigating a claim from the family of a Wauwatosa East football player who said he was subjected to racist language during a game on Oct. 18. Alan J. Borsuk, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Borsuk: A suburban superintendent's urgent call to action on racist incidents in school, sports events," 25 Oct. 2019 Garza and others in the Black Lives Matter movement have been threatened, described repeatedly on social media platforms and conservative TV outlets as violent and subjected to what Garza has described as surprise FBI visits. NBC News, "Civil rights leaders rebuke Zuckerberg's free speech address," 18 Oct. 2019

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

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Subject.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subjecting. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with subject

Spanish Central: Translation of subject

Nglish: Translation of subject for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of subject for Arabic Speakers

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