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 Participants acknowledge that judging of this kind is by its nature subjective. TIME.com, "Terms and Conditions: TIME’s 2021 Best Inventions Search," 26 Apr. 2021 My choices reflect my taste and are, of course, subjective. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Your turn to vote! Tina Turner or Foo Fighters? Kate Bush or Devo? Jay-Z or Fela?," 25 Apr. 2021 The question of justice is subjective, Heather Johnson said. Céilí Doyle, USA TODAY, "Activists say fatal shooting of Black girl by Columbus police proves Chauvin verdict is 'not enough'," 22 Apr. 2021 For many entrepreneurs and small business owners, work-life balance is subjective and something that has to be figured out based on what works for them. Vahe Tirakyan, Forbes, "Ten Things You Can’t Learn In Business School," 21 Apr. 2021 All lists are subjective, but for now, the Washington Avenue strip is our number one. Kevin Davis, Chron, "Houston's most walkable strips for your spring adventures," 8 Apr. 2021 But such matters are often subjective, subtle, and time-consuming to describe except in broad stereotypes. Christopher Caldwell, The New Republic, "The Biden Popular Front Is Doomed to Unravel," 23 Nov. 2020 These are the quantities—subjective, invisible to the naked eye—with which Hazzard most often deals. Alice Gregory, The New Yorker, "Shirley Hazzard and the Art of Outsized Intimacy," 9 Nov. 2020 As Taylor points out in her introduction, relating a set of grim statistics about Black women’s social and economic position, there is nothing subjective, let alone narcissistic, about the material basis from which the CRC was proceeding. Hari Kunzru, The New York Review of Books, "The Wages of Whiteness," 8 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "Democrats, voting rights advocates blast new Georgia election bill," 20 Feb. 2021

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

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Subjective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subjective. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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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 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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