Definition of subjective
1 : of, relating to, or constituting a subject: such asa obsolete : of, relating to, or characteristic of one that is a subject especially in lack of freedom of action or in submissivenessb : 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 1bb : 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 incidentb : arising from conditions within the brain or sense organs and not directly caused by external stimuli subjective sensationsc : 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
subjectivityplay \-ˌjek-ˈti-və-tē\ noun
Examples of subjective in a Sentence
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.
Recent Examples of subjective from the Web
In a forthcoming paper Noam Gidron and Peter Hall reckon that right-wing political success is built on a decline in the subjective social status of white men.
Our minds are so subjective that the idea of reality can be a squirrelly one.
Diaries, like memoirs, are by their nature subjective.
Jaslee Caryola, a College Board spokeswoman, said the SAT is one of many factors that should be considered when making subjective admission decisions.
Your abilities may be undeniable, but people will often make subjective judgments about your character.
The markers of the disease that Smith discovered could help doctors diagnose Parkinson’s disease five to 10 years sooner, as current indicators are considered subjective by experts, Smith said.
But there’s a lot more that’s subjective, and subject to the culture, philosophy, and inclinations of each parent.
Whereas other researchers make modest claims — create some quality of consciousness — Haikonen argues that his creation is capable of genuine subjective experience and basic emotions.
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.
SUBJECTIVE Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of subjective for Students
: based mainly on opinions or feelings rather than on facts a subjective report
Medical Definition of subjective
1a: relating to or determined by the mind as the subject of experience subjective realityb: characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mindc: 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 sensationsb: 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
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