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 More charges are pending as the man is now the subject of a felony investigation. cleveland, "Man drives through red light, causes crash; in car is loaded gun, $1,150 cash, marijuana: Cleveland Heights police blotter," 20 June 2020 For Manchester, fifth place could be enough to qualify for the Champions League after Manchester City’s ban, which has been the subject of an appeal. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Premier League’s Tottenham vs. Manchester United (6/19): Watch online, time, TV, free live stream," 19 June 2020 Eventually, the committee's proposal will be the subject of community meetings. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "More mental health help and resident input on police spending are among recommendations to reform policing in Phoenix," 18 June 2020 The company has been the subject of lawsuits and fevered internal debate over whether efforts to increase diversity discriminated against white and Asian men. ... Rob Copeland, WSJ, "Google Sets Hiring Goal to Advance Black Executives," 17 June 2020 The book is the subject of an escalating legal battle between the longtime conservative foreign policy hand and the Justice Department. Josh Dawsey, BostonGlobe.com, "President Trump asked China’s Xi to help him win reelection, according to Bolton book," 17 June 2020 Similar statues have been the subject of both debate and vandalism around the country in recent days, from small Southern towns to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Charleston was rocked 5 years ago by the Mother Emanuel church shooting. The pain lingers. The fight for change continues.," 17 June 2020 This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. CNN, "READ: President Trump's executive order on police reform," 16 June 2020 In Pennsylvania, two of its facilities were the subject of staff abuse allegations. Silvia Foster-frau, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio church drops lawsuit to house migrant children," 16 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In recent weeks, journalists—both domestic and international—have been subject to unparalleled attacks on press freedom across the U.S. Yasmeen Serhan, The Atlantic, "The ‘Absurd’ New Reality of Reporting From the U.S.," 19 June 2020 There was one in March and at the time, the company added release dates and other info unveiled in the presentation were subject to change do to COVID-19. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "Online video game showcases a remedy for coronavirus-caused summertime blues without E3 trade show," 19 June 2020 Now, Team Telecom is advising that the whole project, which is subject to FCC approval, be rejected entirely if the route includes Hong Kong. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, "How Google and Facebook’s 8,000-mile undersea data cable got caught in U.S.-China feud," 18 June 2020 Amid the protests that have followed the death of George Floyd, at least one of those statues has been toppled and the other four are subject to pending removal, including the one representing Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Christopher Brito, CBS News, ""White Lives Matter" spray-painted across Arthur Ashe statue in Virginia," 18 June 2020 Terms are currently provisional and are subject to ratification by both the USL and USLPA. Briar Napier, azcentral, "USL, players association agree on return-to-play protocol as Phoenix Rising FC's return nears," 18 June 2020 Currently, anyone traveling between the two countries is subject to a two-week quarantine. Isaac Yee And Jill Disis, CNN, "Qantas cancels international flights until October. New Zealand may be the exception," 18 June 2020 But Louisiana residents who use sites like DraftKings and FanDuel that charge fees and award cash prizes could be subject to fines or jail time. David Jacobs, Washington Examiner, "Louisiana lawmakers approve taxes on fantasy sports," 18 June 2020 The suit argues that contact tracing infringes on due process rights and the freedom of association, since a person’s contacts could be subject to a coronavirus investigation by the state. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Will conservative campaign against contact tracing undermine Texas’ efforts to stop COVID-19?," 17 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Bank of England began stress-testing the U.K. financial system against climate risks last year, while the Bank of France has pledged this year to subject banks and insurers to stress tests. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Biden may use financial regulations to slow fossil fuel investments," 18 June 2020 Laws guarding medical records tend to be fierce, and regulators are still wrestling with the question of how exactly to subject AI systems to clinical trials. The Economist, "Brain scan The potential and the pitfalls of medical AI," 11 June 2020 In the meantime, coercive control became an offense in England and Wales, and new evidence provided by psychiatrists showed that Challen had been subjected to it, which led to the quashing of her initial sentence. Elian Peltier, BostonGlobe.com, "Abused woman who killed husband is granted the family’s UK estate," 1 June 2020 The Georgia and the Michigan lawsuits are still pending; the Texas lawsuit was dismissed after a judge ruled that the school’s response had not subjected the student to additional abuse. NBC News, "K-12 schools keep mishandling sexual assault complaints. Will new Title IX regulations help?," 25 May 2020 German teams have been subjected to intensive coronavirus testing in the run up to this weekend’s kickoff, and as a precaution, high fives, group hugs, and post-goal celebrations are verboten. Eric Niiler, Wired, "Will Empty Bleachers Change the Psychology of Sports?," 15 May 2020 This often meant the moderators were subjected to disturbing videos and images that took their toll. TheWeek, "Facebook reaches 'landmark' settlement with moderators who may have developed PTSD on the job," 12 May 2020 The first installment explores the discrimination and violence that the earliest immigrants from the South Pacific, the Indian subcontinent, China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea and elsewhere in Asia were systematically subjected to. Peter Libbey, New York Times, "What’s on TV," 11 May 2020 Travelers from Europe are being sent to one of 13 U.S. airports, including San Francisco International, where federal officials said they would be subjected to both health screenings and quarantine orders. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: March 14-15," 24 Apr. 2020

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

23 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subject.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subject. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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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

Comments on subject

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