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 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 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
subjectivity \ (ˌ)səb-​ˌjek-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce subjectivity (audio) \ 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

Garcia, the commission’s only supporter of the project, said during the June meeting that criticism by city staff members and his colleagues was subjective, vague and not substantial enough to deny the proposal. Priscella Vega, latimes.com, "Developer appeals Huntington Beach commission's denial of 48-unit residential-commercial project," 3 July 2019 Its techniques are often subjective, and an artifact’s location within a site or relative to other objects may not reflect its actual chronological age, as things may have gotten shifted around at some point in time. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How archaeologists determine the date of ancient sites and artifacts," 28 June 2019 So much of a referee’s decision-making is subjective, left to the parameters of common sense. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "World Cup’s VAR replay system tarnishes a great event," 25 June 2019 Keep in mind, the entire exercise is subjective, folks. Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, "For Bruins, it’s wait and see with John Beecher," 22 June 2019 Art is subjective, not a sports competition or even a political debate. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "The National, Courtney Barnett add up to split decision in Indianapolis," 29 May 2019 The same could be true of a key clinical endpoint of the trial, particularly if that endpoint is somewhat subjective, such as a ranking on a pain scale. Heidi Ledford, Scientific American, "A Question of Control," 16 May 2019 The question of which college is the country's best, let alone the best for you, is extremely subjective, which is why there are so many different college rankings out there. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, "Money Releases 2018 Best U.S. Colleges Rankings," 13 Aug. 2018 Discussing potential side effects can also influence results, particularly when the symptoms are subjective. Heidi Ledford, Scientific American, "A Question of Control," 16 May 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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Statistics for subjective

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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 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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