subjective

adjective
sub·​jec·​tive | \ (ˌ)səb-ˈjek-tiv How to pronounce subjective (audio) \

Definition of subjective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or constituting a subject: such as
a obsolete : of, relating to, or characteristic of one that is a subject especially in lack of freedom of action or in submissiveness
b : being or relating to a grammatical subject especially : nominative
2 : of or relating to the essential being of that which has substance, qualities, attributes, or relations
3a : characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind : phenomenal — compare objective sense 1b
b : relating to or being experience or knowledge as conditioned by personal mental characteristics or states
4a(1) : peculiar to a particular individual : personal subjective judgments
(2) : modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background a subjective account of the incident
b : arising from conditions within the brain or sense organs and not directly caused by external stimuli subjective sensations
c : arising out of or identified by means of one's perception of one's own states and processes a subjective symptom of disease — compare objective sense 1c
5 : lacking in reality or substance : illusory

subjective

noun
sub·​jec·​tive | \ (ˌ)səb-ˈjek-tiv How to pronounce subjective (audio) \

Definition of subjective (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is subjective also : nominative

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Other Words from subjective

Adjective

subjectively adverb
subjectiveness noun
subjectivity \ (ˌ)səb-​ˌjek-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce subjectivity (audio) \ noun

Examples of subjective in a Sentence

Adjective

Art is never a commodity. Commodities are identical units of sure value—bushels of wheat, say—whose price fluctuates from time to time and place to place. Art works are one-of-a-kind … items, materially worthless, which have in common that a price is asked for them. Their value is entirely subjective. — Peter Schjedlahl, New Yorker, 16 Feb. 2009 Our perception of loudness is subjective, but sound has an intensity, independent of our hearing, that is measured in decibels (dB). — Jennifer Barone, Discover, July/August 2009 Science is the study of facts—things that are measurable, testable, repeatable, verifiable. I won't bore you with the inevitable discussion of objective reality and how it's ultimately unknowable because we filter it through our individual subjective realities, I'll cut directly to the chase. Science is about the stuff we can agree on. Rocks are hard, water is wet. — David Gerrold, Fantasy & Science Fiction, September 2005 Besides, I am not doing this for the anthropology. My aim is nothing so mistily subjective as to "experience poverty" or find out how it "really feels" to be a long-term low-wage worker. — Barbara Ehrenreich, Harper's, January 1999 Dreaming is a subjective experience. a person's subjective perception of the world Personal taste in clothing is very subjective. In reviewing applicants, we consider both objective criteria, such as test scores, and subjective criteria, such as leadership ability. Law can be maddeningly subjective. So much is left up to your own interpretation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Likability judgments are of course highly subjective. James Freeman, WSJ, "Gender, Likability and Opportunity," 7 Jan. 2019 The line between what is offensive and unpopular is highly subjective and in an America as divided as this, people will inevitably disagree over Facebook's decisions on when to block accounts. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Republican lawmakers go after Facebook CEO Zuckerberg for anti-conservative bias," 11 Apr. 2018 Judge Bunning became convinced that the whole business of using angiograms to determine the severity of arterial blockages was so subjective that no cardiologist ought to be convicted of fraud based on another cardiologist’s opinion. Kyle Clark And Andrew George, WSJ, "A Second Opinion Becomes a Guilty Verdict," 27 Dec. 2018 And how a person feels or acts during their bipolar episodes (and the length of them) can vary greatly and be quite subjective. Jacqueline Andriakos, SELF, "13 Things People With Bipolar Disorder Want You to Know," 12 Dec. 2018 Search engines, by contrast, are subjective and zero-sum. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The long, tortured quest to make Google unbiased," 6 Dec. 2018 With that being said, judging is, of course, subjective and there were some agreeing with the Deal or No Deal host about Noah. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'America's Got Talent' Viewers Were Fuming at “Party Pooper” Howie Mandel Last Night," 22 Aug. 2018 Sound therapy can help with objective and subjective tinnitus. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Is Tinnitus?," 30 Jan. 2019 Deciding if a work of dance is protectible choreography is a subjective evaluation typically based on length and prestige. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite keeps stealing dances — and no one knows if it’s illegal," 20 Dec. 2018

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1817, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for subjective

Adjective

see subject entry 1

Noun

see subject entry 1

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Statistics for subjective

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for subjective

The first known use of subjective was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for subjective

subjective

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of subjective

philosophy : relating to the way a person experiences things in his or her own mind
: based on feelings or opinions rather than facts
grammar : relating to nouns, noun phrases, or pronouns that are the subjects of verbs

subjective

adjective
sub·​jec·​tive | \ səb-ˈjek-tiv How to pronounce subjective (audio) \

Kids Definition of subjective

: based mainly on opinions or feelings rather than on facts a subjective report

subjective

adjective
sub·​jec·​tive | \ (ˌ)səb-ˈjek-tiv How to pronounce subjective (audio) \

Medical Definition of subjective

1a : relating to or determined by the mind as the subject of experience subjective reality
b : characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind
c : relating to or being experience or knowledge as conditioned by personal mental characteristics or states
2a : arising from conditions within the brain or sense organs and not directly caused by external stimuli subjective sensations
b : arising out of or identified by means of one's perception of one's own states and processes and not observable by an examiner a subjective symptom of disease caused objective or subjective clinical improvement or bothJournal of the American Medical Association — compare objective sense 2

Other Words from subjective

subjectively adverb

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Comments on subjective

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