sub·​ti·​tle | \ ˈsəb-ˌtī-tᵊl How to pronounce subtitle (audio) \

Definition of subtitle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a secondary or explanatory title
2 : a printed statement or fragment of dialogue appearing on the screen between the scenes of a silent motion picture or appearing as a translation at the bottom of the screen during the scenes of a motion picture or television show in a foreign language


subtitled; subtitling; subtitles

Definition of subtitle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to give a subtitle to

Examples of subtitle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun True to the show’s reputation, this second of two special episodes has a subtitle that’s a bit too racy for print. oregonlive, "Winter TV 2021: Premiere dates for new and returning midseason shows," 30 Dec. 2020 The print version of this article used an incorrect subtitle for the American edition of James Suzman’s book. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "How Civilization Broke Our Brains," 13 Dec. 2020 The pointed subtitle of O’Sullivan’s book is a rebuke to those who think all female Beatles fans were tearfully ecstatic, out of control and undiscerning. Washington Post, "All you need is Lennon: A Maryland author ponders the Beatles’ role in her life," 7 Dec. 2020 The latter struggle, within the novelist himself, is the real war of Gorra’s subtitle. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, "William Faulkner’s Demons," 23 Nov. 2020 Patrick Buchanan wrote a big foreign-policy book called A Republic, Not an Empire, with the romantic subtitle Reclaiming America’s Destiny. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "‘America First’ Nationalism Isn’t Leaving the White House," 15 Nov. 2020 The film’s subtitle refers to Chapin’s personal credo, one that fueled his actions on social issues. Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something’ charts the singer’s too brief activist life," 15 Oct. 2020 The chef’s hat on the cover and the subtitle reveal that the former New Yorker fiction editor’s book does not deal with grime, although there’s some of that, too. Bill Buford, Star Tribune, "REVIEWS: 'Dirt,' by Bill Buford, and 'The Boy in the Field,' by Margot Livesey," 10 Oct. 2020 The latest evidence of this: neither the title nor the subtitle of a new book about his greatest professional accomplishment mentions his name. oregonlive, "The story behind the famous story of Hiroshima’s bombing is vividly told in ‘Fallout’: Book review," 24 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb KineMaster This Android and iOS app can blur faces in videos, including other features such as voiceovers, subtitling, and transitions and special effects. Coral Murphy, USA TODAY, "Want to blur a face in your video? These video and photo editing tools can help," 29 May 2020 This whole time, the only legitimate way to stream the anime has been through Hulu, which granted, has dubbed and subtitled versions of both Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, "You Could Soon Stream Sailor Moon For Free On YouTube," 22 Apr. 2020 Audiences worldwide can enjoy Apple TV+ originals subtitled and/or dubbed in nearly 40 languages, including Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (SDH) or closed captions. Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, "Self-isolating? Try these awesome tips for Netflix, Amazon, Disney+ and Apple TV+," 20 Mar. 2020 The film is considered by many to be the first subtitled for the American market. Sandra E. Garcia, New York Times, "After ‘Parasite,’ Are Subtitles Still a One-Inch Barrier for Americans?," 12 Feb. 2020 They'll be subtitled in 28 languages and dubbed in up to 20. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Studio Ghibli films are coming to Netflix, but not in North America or Japan," 20 Jan. 2020 The tea this year was subtitled: Petticoat Justice. cleveland, "Lorain County Historical Society serves Valentine Tea for women’s suffrage centennial," 17 Feb. 2020 John Conyers' autobiography might have been subtitled 'Jazz in the key of life... Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Watch live: Funeral for former U.S. Rep. John Conyers," 4 Nov. 2019 Cheaper than employing bilingual casts or remaking from scratch, more accessible to mass audiences than subtitling, the technique had in the early days of the talkies an extra bonus: censorship. The Economist, "Dubbing is coming to a small screen near you," 21 Dec. 2019

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


1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1830, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of subtitle was in 1815

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Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Subtitle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce subtitle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of subtitle

: words that appear on the screen during a movie, video, or television show and that are translations of what the actors are saying
: a title that comes after the main title of a book and that often gives more information about the contents of the book

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