Definitions for subjectˈsʌb dʒɪkt; səbˈdʒɛkt

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word subject

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

sub•ject*ˈsʌb dʒɪkt; səbˈdʒɛkt(n., adj.; v.; n.)

  1. that which forms a basic matter of thought, discussion, investigation, etc.

  2. a branch of knowledge as a course of study.

    Category: Education

  3. a motive, cause, or ground:

    a subject for complaint.

  4. something or someone treated or represented in a literary composition, work of art, etc.

    Category: Literature, Philosphy

  5. the principal melodic motif or phrase in a musical composition, esp. in a fugue.

    Category: Music and Dance

  6. a person who owes allegiance to, or is under the domination of, a sovereign or state.

    Category: Government

  7. a syntactic unit that functions as one of the two main constituents of a sentence, the other being the predicate, and that consists of a noun, noun phrase, or noun substitute typically referring to the one performing the action or being in the state expressed by the predicate, as I in

    I gave notice.

    Category: Grammar

  8. Logic. that term of a proposition concerning which the predicate is affirmed or denied.

    Category: Philosphy

  9. a person or thing that undergoes some kind of treatment at the hands of others.

  10. a person, animal, or corpse as an object of medical or scientific treatment or experiment.

  11. Philos. that which thinks, feels, perceives, intends, etc., as contrasted with the objects of thought, feeling, etc. the self or ego.

    Category: Philosphy

  12. Metaphysics. that in which qualities or attributes inhere; substance.

    Category: Philosphy

  13. (adj.)being under the domination, control, or influence of something (often fol. by to).

  14. being under the dominion, rule, or authority of a sovereign, state, etc. (often fol. by to).

  15. open or exposed (usu. fol. by to):

    subject to ridicule.

  16. dependent upon something (usu. fol. by to):

    His consent is subject to your approval.

  17. being under the necessity of undergoing something (usu. fol. by to):

    All beings are subject to death.

  18. liable; prone (usu. fol. by to):

    subject to headaches.

  19. (v.t.)to bring under domination, control, or influence (usu. fol. by to).

  20. to cause to undergo the action of something specified; expose (usu. fol. by to):

    to subject metal to intense heat.

  21. to make liable or vulnerable; expose (usu. fol. by to):

    to subject oneself to ridicule.

  22. Obs. to place beneath something; make subjacent.

* Syn: subject , topic , theme refer to the central idea or matter considered in speech or writing. subject refers to the broad or general matter treated in a discussion, literary work, etc.: The subject of the novel was a poor Southern family. topic often applies to one specific part of a general subject; it may also apply to a limited and well-defined subject: We covered many topics at the meeting. The topic of the news story was an escaped prisoner. theme usu. refers to the underlying idea of a discourse or composition, perhaps not clearly stated but easily recognizable: The theme of social reform runs throughout her work.

Origin of subject:

1300–50; (adj.) < L subjectus, ptp. of subicere to throw or place beneath, make subject =sub-sub - +-icere, comb. form of jacere to throw


Princeton's WordNet

  1. subject, topic, theme(noun)

    the subject matter of a conversation or discussion

    "he didn't want to discuss that subject"; "it was a very sensitive topic"; "his letters were always on the theme of love"

  2. subject, content, depicted object(noun)

    something (a person or object or scene) selected by an artist or photographer for graphic representation

    "a moving picture of a train is more dramatic than a still picture of the same subject"

  3. discipline, subject, subject area, subject field, field, field of study, study, bailiwick(noun)

    a branch of knowledge

    "in what discipline is his doctorate?"; "teachers should be well trained in their subject"; "anthropology is the study of human beings"

  4. topic, subject, issue, matter(noun)

    some situation or event that is thought about

    "he kept drifting off the topic"; "he had been thinking about the subject for several years"; "it is a matter for the police"

  5. subject(noun)

    (grammar) one of the two main constituents of a sentence; the grammatical constituent about which something is predicated

  6. subject, case, guinea pig(noun)

    a person who is subjected to experimental or other observational procedures; someone who is an object of investigation

    "the subjects for this investigation were selected randomly"; "the cases that we studied were drawn from two different communities"

  7. national, subject(noun)

    a person who owes allegiance to that nation

    "a monarch has a duty to his subjects"

  8. subject(adj)

    (logic) the first term of a proposition

  9. capable, open, subject(adj)

    possibly accepting or permitting

    "a passage capable of misinterpretation"; "open to interpretation"; "an issue open to question"; "the time is fixed by the director and players and therefore subject to much variation"

  10. subject, dependent(adj)

    being under the power or sovereignty of another or others

    "subject peoples"; "a dependent prince"

  11. subject(verb)

    likely to be affected by something

    "the bond is subject to taxation"; "he is subject to fits of depression"

  12. subject(verb)

    cause to experience or suffer or make liable or vulnerable to

    "He subjected me to his awful poetry"; "The sergeant subjected the new recruits to many drills"; "People in Chernobyl were subjected to radiation"

  13. subject(verb)

    make accountable for

    "He did not want to subject himself to the judgments of his superiors"

  14. subjugate, subject(verb)

    make subservient; force to submit or subdue

  15. submit, subject(verb)

    refer for judgment or consideration

    "The lawyers submitted the material to the court"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. subject(noun)ˈsʌb dʒɪkt; v. səbˈdʒɛkt

    an idea that sb discusses or writes about

    The subject of my paper is late 19th century French painting.; a conversation on the subject of teenage drinking

  2. subjectˈsʌb dʒɪkt; v. səbˈdʒɛkt

    a topic sb learns about at school, college, etc.

    Math is his favorite subject.

  3. subjectˈsʌb dʒɪkt; v. səbˈdʒɛkt

    a person being studied

    There were 32 subjects in the first test.

  4. subjectˈsʌb dʒɪkt; v. səbˈdʒɛkt

    sb or sth that is the focus of a work of art

    the subject of the photograph

  5. subjectˈsʌb dʒɪkt; v. səbˈdʒɛkt

    in grammar, the person, place, or thing that does the action of the verb in a sentence

  6. subject(adjective)ˈsʌb dʒɪkt; v. səbˈdʒɛkt

    affected or controlled by

    Small businesses are subject to monthly inspections; Boaters are subject to drunk driving laws.

  7. subjectˈsʌb dʒɪkt; v. səbˈdʒɛkt

    depending on

    We will start next week, subject to the board's approval.

  8. subject(verb)ˈsʌb dʒɪkt; v. səbˈdʒɛkt

    to force sb to do or experience sth

    prisoners subjected to horrible torture

Webster Dictionary

  1. Subject(adj)

    placed or situated under; lying below, or in a lower situation

  2. Subject(adj)

    placed under the power of another; specifically (International Law), owing allegiance to a particular sovereign or state; as, Jamaica is subject to Great Britain

  3. Subject(adj)

    exposed; liable; prone; disposed; as, a country subject to extreme heat; men subject to temptation

  4. Subject(adj)

    obedient; submissive

  5. Subject(adj)

    that which is placed under the authority, dominion, control, or influence of something else

  6. Subject(adj)

    specifically: One who is under the authority of a ruler and is governed by his laws; one who owes allegiance to a sovereign or a sovereign state; as, a subject of Queen Victoria; a British subject; a subject of the United States

  7. Subject(adj)

    that which is subjected, or submitted to, any physical operation or process; specifically (Anat.), a dead body used for the purpose of dissection

  8. Subject(adj)

    that which is brought under thought or examination; that which is taken up for discussion, or concerning which anything is said or done

  9. Subject(adj)

    the person who is treated of; the hero of a piece; the chief character

  10. Subject(adj)

    that of which anything is affirmed or predicated; the theme of a proposition or discourse; that which is spoken of; as, the nominative case is the subject of the verb

  11. Subject(adj)

    that in which any quality, attribute, or relation, whether spiritual or material, inheres, or to which any of these appertain; substance; substratum

  12. Subject(adj)

    hence, that substance or being which is conscious of its own operations; the mind; the thinking agent or principal; the ego. Cf. Object, n., 2

  13. Subject(noun)

    the principal theme, or leading thought or phrase, on which a composition or a movement is based

  14. Subject(noun)

    the incident, scene, figure, group, etc., which it is the aim of the artist to represent

  15. Subject(verb)

    to bring under control, power, or dominion; to make subject; to subordinate; to subdue

  16. Subject(verb)

    to expose; to make obnoxious or liable; as, credulity subjects a person to impositions

  17. Subject(verb)

    to submit; to make accountable

  18. Subject(verb)

    to make subservient

  19. Subject(verb)

    to cause to undergo; as, to subject a substance to a white heat; to subject a person to a rigid test


  1. Subject

    The subject is, according to a tradition that can be traced back to Aristotle, one of the two main constituents of a clause, the other constituent being the predicate, whereby the predicate says something about the subject. According to a tradition associated with predicate logic and dependency grammars, the subject is the most prominent overt argument of the predicate. By this position all languages with arguments have subjects, though there is no way to define this consistently for all languages. From a functional perspective, a subject is a phrase that conflates nominative case with the topic. Many languages do not do this, and so do not have subjects. All of these positions see the subject in English determining person and number agreement on the finite verb, as exemplified by the difference in verb forms between he eats and they eat. The stereotypical subject immediately precedes the finite verb in declarative sentences in English and represents an agent or a theme. The subject is often a multi-word constituent and should be distinguished from parts of speech, which, roughly, classify words within constituents.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'subject' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #507

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'subject' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1114

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'subject' in Nouns Frequency: #113

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'subject' in Verbs Frequency: #851

Translations for subject

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a person who is under the rule of a monarch or a member of a country that has a monarchy etc

We are loyal subjects of the Queen; He is a British subject.

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