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 2a
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 2c
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

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 Today’s daily digit A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of zero to 10. Matt Rogers, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Colder and breezy into New Year’s holiday with rain returning Thursday night," 31 Dec. 2019 As if beyond the voice narrating each of the stories there were something subjective, something blurry, hovering over it all, creating an effect. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, "Emilio Fraia on Stories Within Stories," 9 Dec. 2019 Red carpet fashions are always subjective, but some in our opinion just don’t work. Jane Tyska, The Mercury News, "Photos: 71st Emmys red carpet worst dressed," 22 Sep. 2019 What this fascinating book reaffirms is that people’s assessments of others are extremely subjective, and easily led astray by appearances. The Economist, "The eyes have it," 12 Sep. 2019 The selection process is subjective, opaque and veers from the traditional entry system. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: In Appreciation of the Serena/Murray Doubles Team at Wimbledon," 10 July 2019 Today’s daily digit A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10. 5/10: Enjoy the sun, embrace the chill. David Streit, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Today is the coldest of the season so far, starting with bitter wind chills. But not as cold this weekend.," 19 Dec. 2019 In the beginning, their hideousness was subjective; they were based on traditional, often elaborate Nordic and Fair Isle patterns. Jasmin Malik Chua, Teen Vogue, "Why Ugly Christmas Sweaters Aren't Very Sustainable," 16 Dec. 2019 All criticism is subjective, of course, and my list of the best shows of the last 10 years surely reflects the dearth of consensus picks. Judy Berman, Time, "The 10 Best TV Shows of the 2010s," 15 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for subjective

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for subjective

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subjective.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subjective. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for subjective

subjective

adjective
How to pronounce subjective (audio)

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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