subjective

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

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 \

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 \ 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

Even how the more than 1 billion Catholics practice Catholicism is very subjective. Rosemary Feitelberg | Wwd, latimes.com, "The Met’s Costume Institute unveils ‘Heavenly Bodies’ exhibition during preview before the Met Gala," 7 May 2018 The problem with this approach is that the definition of racy material is far more subjective than that of pornography. Klint Finley, WIRED, "MeToo Is Changing Even the Smarmiest Advertisers," 3 Apr. 2018 But, gauging a median's wideness is likely a very subjective activity. Dana Burke, Houston Chronicle, "Texas traffic rules you're probably not following," 26 Feb. 2018 Skating is a very subjective sport where fans have their favorites. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "Q&A: Tara Lipinski Talks 1998 Gold Medal and 2018 Olympics," 21 Jan. 2018 The New York Civil Liberties Union, which brought the suit, contends that Lloyd's reasons for holding the kids are often baseless and subjective, and that his lack of background in child welfare makes him unqualified to make such decisions. Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post, "The Health 202: Meet the man in charge of the HHS agency overseeing migrant children," 22 June 2018 Need some more subjective evidence to assuage your Xavier concerns? Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "Bracketology: Villanova loss didn't change much for Xavier's NCAA Tournament projections," 21 Feb. 2018 And yet, individuals’ different understandings of geography are so subjective, founded on observation and experience and desire. Lauren Elkin, The Atlantic, "People Will Always Get Lost," 16 Feb. 2018 McDonald says the criteria the panel uses to judge selections are subjective. Constance Grady, Vox, "How a book can become a hit before it’s even finished," 30 May 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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Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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 \

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 \

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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