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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Garam masala has innumerable regional variations across South Asia and is subjective by definition. Rachel Gurjar, Bon Appétit, 16 May 2022 The downsides of this stroller are kind of subjective. Sara Gaynes Levy, PEOPLE.com, 5 May 2022 As universal as a perfume might aim to be, smells are still largely subjective depending on our personal taste and cultural upbringing, Baghriche notes. Emily Jensen, Allure, 29 Apr. 2022 Audience members serve as judges and the process is largely subjective. Hannah Smart, BostonGlobe.com, 22 Apr. 2022 Album of the year winner Jon Batiste’s earnest and honest speech about music as a mystic, subjective experience that finds its audience. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Apr. 2022 There ended up being a lot of subjective judgment in defining the list. Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2022 This is what some psychologists call fluency, or the subjective experience of ease associated with an experience. Matthew Baldwin, The Conversation, 30 Mar. 2022 For me, just for my subjective experience of it, moved there with my sister, who was 11 months younger. Liza Lentini, SPIN, 4 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Often called the Banksys of financial fudging and the van Goghs of offshoring pre-tax income to foreign countries, these middle-aged white men will nurture your flair for the subjective. Meghana Indurti, The New Yorker, 18 Mar. 2022 If the subjective is no longer available as a method of entry, the critic must find alternative admission. SPIN, 8 Feb. 2022 The zaniness goes beyond the subjective: There are historical data points that show just how anomalous these playoffs have been. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, 31 Jan. 2022 Though famed as a regional pictorialist, her writing seems remarkably modern in its incorporation of the subjective and eroticism into narratives. John Hopewell, Variety, 10 Sep. 2021 But Ryan Germany, the general counsel in Raffensperger's office, said if the state doesn't switch from a subjective to an objective way of verifying absentee ballots, election officials could become targets, as some were after November. Quinn Scanlan, ABC News, 20 Feb. 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About subjective

Time Traveler for subjective

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near subjective

subjectional

subjective

subjective complement

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Statistics for subjective

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Subjective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subjective. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for subjective

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

More from Merriam-Webster on subjective

Nglish: Translation of subjective for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of subjective for Arabic Speakers

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