1

subjective

adjective sub·jec·tive \ (ˌ)səb-ˈjek-tiv \

Definition of subjective

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
3 a : characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind : phenomenal — compare objective 1b
b : relating to or being experience or knowledge as conditioned by personal mental characteristics or states
4 a (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 1c
5 : lacking in reality or substance : illusory

subjectively

adverb

subjectiveness

noun

subjectivity

play \-ˌjek-ˈti-və-tē\ noun

Examples of subjective in a Sentence

  1. 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 SchjedlahlNew Yorker16 Feb. 2009
  2. Our perception of loudness is subjective, but sound has an intensity, independent of our hearing, that is measured in decibels (dB). —Jennifer BaroneDiscoverJuly/August 2009
  3. 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 GerroldFantasy & Science FictionSeptember 2005
  4. 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 EhrenreichHarper'sJanuary 1999
  5. Dreaming is a subjective experience.

  6. a person's subjective perception of the world

  7. Personal taste in clothing is very subjective.

  8. In reviewing applicants, we consider both objective criteria, such as test scores, and subjective criteria, such as leadership ability.

  9. Law can be maddeningly subjective. So much is left up to your own interpretation.

Recent Examples of subjective from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of subjective


2

subjective

noun sub·jec·tive \ (ˌ)səb-ˈjek-tiv \

Definition of subjective

: something that is subjective; also : nominative

Origin and Etymology of subjective

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


SUBJECTIVE Defined for English Language Learners

subjective

adjective

Definition of subjective for English Language Learners

  • 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 Defined for Kids

subjective

adjective sub·jec·tive \ səb-ˈjek-tiv \

Definition of subjective for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

subjective

adjective sub·jec·tive \ (ˌ)səb-ˈjek-tiv \

medical Definition of subjective

1 a : 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
2 a : 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 both
  • Journal of the American Medical Association
— compare objective 2

subjectively

adverb


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