sub·​scrip·​tion | \səb-ˈskrip-shən \

Definition of subscription 

1a : the act of signing one's name (as in attesting or witnessing a document)

b : the acceptance (as of ecclesiastical articles of faith) attested by the signing of one's name

2 : something that is subscribed: such as

a : an autograph signature also : a paper to which a signature is attached

b : a sum subscribed or pledged

3 : an arrangement for providing, receiving, or making use of something of a continuing or periodic nature on a prepayment plan: such as

a : a purchase by prepayment for a certain number of issues (as of a periodical)

b : application to purchase securities of a new issue

c : a method of offering or presenting a series of public performances

d British : membership dues

Examples of subscription in a Sentence

I'm going to renew my subscription. You won't find this magazine at newsstands. It's sold only by subscription.

Recent Examples on the Web

In today's world this is an accessible reality, with several wine subscription services to choose from. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "5 Wine Subscription Services that Will Make You Feel like a Sommelier," 10 Oct. 2018 According to eMarketer, an estimated 22.2 million people switched from cable subscriptions to streaming content in 2017, a 33.2 percent growth over the previous year. Graeme Mcmillan, The Verge, "Netflix, Amazon Video, and Xfinity are accidentally re-creating cable TV," 13 Aug. 2018 Of its active users, roughly 10% are paid; last year the company is said to have pulled in $100 million in subscription revenue. Leigh Gallagher, Fortune, "Match Is the Sweetheart of Online Dating—But Can It Fend Off Facebook and Bumble?," 27 June 2018 To watch without a cable subscription, head to CBS's website. Temi Adebowale, Town & Country, "How To Livestream Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding," 19 May 2018 Dynamics revenue was also up 17 percent, with a 65-percent increase in Dynamics 365 subscription revenue. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Even Windows revenue is up in Microsoft’s $26.8 billion 3Q18," 26 Apr. 2018 Since his inauguration, The New York Times grossed $1 billion in subscription revenue and CNN's ratings have soared. Luke Darby, GQ, "Trump Has the Most Success Wherever People Read the Least News," 9 Apr. 2018 Users would be able to cancel their subscriptions after two years and keep the hardware. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "“Xbox All Access” offers free hardware up front with two-year subscription [Updated]," 27 Aug. 2018 Hospitals pay a subscription fee, which is based on the number of operating rooms and bed size. Naseem S. Miller,, "EASE app gives families peek into how surgery is going," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subscription.' 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 subscription

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for subscription

Middle English subscripcion mark at the end of a document, concluding formula, from Anglo-French, from Latin subscription-, subscriptio, from subscribere

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Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for subscription

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

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More Definitions for subscription



English Language Learners Definition of subscription

: an agreement that you make with a company to get a publication or service regularly and that you usually pay for in advance

: a fee that you pay regularly to belong to or support an organization


sub·​scrip·​tion | \səb-ˈskrip-shən \

Kids Definition of subscription

: an agreement to buy a publication or service for a stated period


sub·​scrip·​tion | \səb-ˈskrip-shən \

Medical Definition of subscription 

: a part of a prescription that contains directions to the pharmacist

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sub·​scrip·​tion | \səb-ˈskrip-shən \

Legal Definition of subscription 

1 : the act of signing one's name (as in attesting or witnessing a document)

2 : something that is subscribed specifically : a sum subscribed or pledged a charitable subscription

3 : an agreement to purchase securities (as stocks) of a new issue and especially of a prospective corporation — compare warrant sense 3b

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