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 Cole carefully worded his responses on the subject Thursday, before the Yankees opened a series at Minnesota against Donaldson's team. Pete Caldera, USA TODAY, 9 June 2021 There are plenty of pending proposals in Congress on the subject. Steve Megargee, Anchorage Daily News, 8 June 2021 At the time, there were no hard data on the subject, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists both struck a neutral tone. Russ Mitchell Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2021 For my general views on the subject, try this column from a year ago. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 7 June 2021 But Russell only skims the surface of the lesbian community in the Village and Roosevelt’s place in it, providing little new enlightenment on the subject. Washington Post, 4 June 2021 The report will collect material from various government agencies that have information on the subject. Karlyn Bowman, Forbes, 3 June 2021 Numerous studies have also been conducted on the subject, including in Finland. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 2 June 2021 Coach Quin Snyder, naturally, didn’t see much reason to dwell on the subject. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The deal is expected to close late this year, subject to regulatory approval. Lisa Schencker, chicagotribune.com, 8 June 2021 It’s still subject to review by the state Office of Administrative Law. Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2021 Fauci serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, making his emails subject to disclosure. Devon Link, USA TODAY, 3 June 2021 These examples indicate just some of the ways in which the obligation to return money to others really is a prima facie obligation and thus ultimately subject to limits in the real world. Kate Padgett Walsh, The Conversation, 2 June 2021 The department subsequently kicked off the process of gradually allowing asylum seekers previously subject to the program into the US. Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, 1 June 2021 Raimund Hoghe, the German performer and choreographer who worked as a dramaturge for the choreographer Pina Bausch before creating dance-theater pieces that made as their subject his own body’s limitations, died on May 14 at his home in Düsseldorf. Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times, 31 May 2021 Irving police factors testing into their budget and continues to arrest people for marijuana possession, subject to each officer’s discretion, Public Information Officer Robert Reeves said. Dallas News, 26 May 2021 To qualify for citizenship and a passport, applicants must have been a resident of Ireland for the last 12 years, and physically present in the country (subject to trips abroad for vacations, and the like) for four of the last five years. Andy J. Semotiuk, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There’s a lithium-ion battery inside, so don’t subject it to any mechanical shocks like a drop. Brad Moon, Forbes, 25 May 2021 History’s four-part account of the birth and growth of the personal automobile doesn’t subject us to a tutorial on the internal-combustion engine, exactly. John Anderson, WSJ, 20 May 2021 CIC Services, a micro captive manager and strategist, understandably did not want to subject itself to onerous civil or criminal penalties. Guinevere Moore, Forbes, 17 May 2021 Such a move could subject ghost guns to the same regulations as other firearms. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, 26 Mar. 2021 The designation would subject Ant to rules similar to those governing banks and cloud the company’s growth prospects. Stephanie Yang, WSJ, 13 May 2021 That, Galvin argued, should subject DiMasi to automatic decade-long prohibition. BostonGlobe.com, 16 Apr. 2021 Both Baxley’s proposal and the House bill, sponsored by Spring Hill Republican Blaise Ingoglia, would subject supervisors to $25,000 civil penalties if drop boxes are available when early voting is not underway. Dara Kam, sun-sentinel.com, 14 Apr. 2021 Instead of working to improve the poor conditions of Chinatown, officials in San Francisco subject the neighborhood and its residents to countless inspections and responded with punitive measures against Chinese immigrants, Hom said. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 12 Apr. 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

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Subject.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subject. Accessed 16 Jun. 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

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