What does subject mean?

Definitions for subject
ˈsʌb dʒɪkt; səbˈdʒɛktsub·ject

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word subject.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. subject, topic, themenoun

    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 objectnoun

    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, bailiwicknoun

    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, matternoun

    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. subjectnoun

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

  6. subject, case, guinea pignoun

    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, subjectnoun

    a person who owes allegiance to that nation

    "a monarch has a duty to his subjects"

  8. subjectadjective

    (logic) the first term of a proposition

  9. capable, open, subjectadjective

    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, dependentadjective

    being under the power or sovereignty of another or others

    "subject peoples"; "a dependent prince"

  11. subjectverb

    likely to be affected by something

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

  12. subjectverb

    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. subjectverb

    make accountable for

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

  14. subjugate, subjectverb

    make subservient; force to submit or subdue

  15. submit, subjectverb

    refer for judgment or consideration

    "The lawyers submitted the material to the court"

Webster Dictionary

  1. Subjectadjective

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

  2. Subjectadjective

    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. Subjectadjective

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

  4. Subjectadjective

    obedient; submissive

  5. Subjectadjective

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

  6. Subjectadjective

    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. Subjectadjective

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

  8. Subjectadjective

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

  9. Subjectadjective

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

  10. Subjectadjective

    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. Subjectadjective

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

  12. Subjectadjective

    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. Subjectnoun

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

  14. Subjectnoun

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

  15. Subjectverb

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

  16. Subjectverb

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

  17. Subjectverb

    to submit; to make accountable

  18. Subjectverb

    to make subservient

  19. Subjectverb

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

  20. Etymology: [From L. subjectus, through an old form of F. sujet. See Subject, a.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Subject

    sub′jekt, adj. under the power of another: liable, prone, disposed: exposed: subordinate, tributary: subservient.—n. one under the power of another: one under allegiance to a sovereign: that on which any operation is performed: that which is treated or handled: (anat.) a dead body for dissection: a person supposed to be peculiarly sensitive to hypnotic influence: that which it is the object of the artist to express, the scheme or idea of a work of art: a picture representing action and incident: that of which anything is said or of which a discourse treats, bringing many things under a common head: the mind, regarded as the thinking power, in contrast with the object, that about which it thinks: topic: matter, materials: the general plan of any work of art.—v.t. Subject′, to throw or bring under: to bring under the power of: to make subordinate or subservient: to subdue: to enslave: to expose or make liable to: to cause to undergo.—n. Subjec′tion, the act of subjecting or subduing: the state of being subject to another.—adj. Subject′ive, relating to the subject: derived from one's own consciousness: denoting those states of thought or feeling of which the mind is the conscious subject—opp. to Objective.—adv. Subject′ively.—n. Subject′iveness.—v.t. Subject′ivise.—ns. Subject′ivism, a philosophical doctrine which refers all knowledge to, and founds it upon, subjective states; Subject′ivist, one who holds to subjectivism.—adj. Subjectivist′ic.—adv. Subjectivist′ically.—ns. Subjectiv′ity, state of being subjective: that which is treated subjectively; Sub′ject-matter, a tautological compound for subject, theme, topic; Sub′ject-ob′ject, the immediate object of cognition, or the thought itself; Sub′jectship, the state of being subject. [Fr. sujet—L. subjectussub, under, jacĕre, to throw.]

Editors Contribution

  1. subject

    A defined or specific type of education or knowledge.

    The subject was geography and we are delighted to know what we do.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 23, 2020  

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

How to pronounce subject?

How to say subject in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of subject in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of subject in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of subject in a Sentence

  1. Mike Donilon:

    I understand that the president and his allies will undertake every effort to go after the vice president and try to change the subject and distract them, this isn't new. It's not like Donald Trump started attacking the vice president today or yesterday, Donald Trump's been at Donald Trump all year long.

  2. Casey Jordan:

    The most basic underlying reason for the attraction is indeed the infamy of these criminals... who have been super-hyped in the media and are household words, many deeply insecure people who crave attention and validation from a well-known person seek out the famous criminal as the subject of their love and attraction. Their lives are usually empty and boring with no prospect of achievement or self-actualization, so they believe their association with the killer will fill the void.

  3. Ehsan Sehgal:

    If, you move against and underestimate any subject, is your already defeat

  4. The UK government:

    [ The plan ] will be central to weaning Britain off expensive fossil fuels, which are subject to volatile gas prices set by international markets we are unable to control.

  5. Scott Gottlieb:

    Such operations and illegal online pharmacies take advantage of unsuspecting Americans by purporting to distribute safe and effective imported drugs, at least some of which are instead expired, mislabeled, subject to recalls or potentially counterfeit and that are provided outside of the closed American distribution system meant to protect patient safety.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for subject

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • رعية, فَاعِل, مَوْضُوع, دورةArabic
  • фәнBashkir
  • дзе́йнікBelarusian
  • подло́г, поданикBulgarian
  • súbdit, matèria, subjecte, sotmetreCatalan, Valencian
  • poddaný, podmět, předmětCzech
  • subjekt, fag, emne, grundled, tema, borger, udsætteDanish
  • Fach, Lehrfach, Gegenstand, Untertan, Betreff, Sache, Untertanin, Sujet, Schulfach, Subjekt, Unterrichtsfach, Studienfach, Thema, unterwerfenGerman
  • αντικείμενο, υποτελής, προκείμενο, υποκείμενο, θέμα, υπήκοος, υπεξούσιος, υποκείμενος, υποβάλλωGreek
  • studobjekto, subulo, subjekto, lernobjekto, temoEsperanto
  • tema, curso, ramo, materia, súbdito, sujeto, asignatura, someterSpanish
  • teema, aine, alam, alusEstonian
  • موضوع, سوژهPersian
  • aihe, aihealue, alamainen, subjekti, teema, aine, ala, pakottaa, painostaa, alistaaFinnish
  • discipline, matière, sujet, soumettreFrench
  • cuir, cuir duine faoi phróiseasIrish
  • cùisear, cuspairScottish Gaelic
  • suxeito, materia, someterGalician
  • נוֹשֵׂא, נתיןHebrew
  • téma, alany, tárgy, alattvalóHungarian
  • ենթակաArmenian
  • themaInterlingua
  • subyekIndonesian
  • yrkisefni, grein, efni, viðfangsefni, þegn, umræðuefni, námsgrein, frumlag, umtalsefni, fag, ná, valdi, yfirIcelandic
  • sottomesso, soggetto, disciplina, assoggettato, corso, materia, suddito, sottomettere, assoggettareItalian
  • 科目, 学科, 主語, 主題Japanese
  • ប្រជានុរាស្ត្រ, ប្រធានវិស័យ, ប្រធានKhmer
  • 신하, 백성, 주어, 주제, 학과, 과목Korean
  • بابه‌ت, باره‌Kurdish
  • tāhuhu, tāhūMāori
  • те́ма, пре́дмет, поданик, по́дмет, предмет, изложува, подложуваMacedonian
  • onderdaan, onderwerp, vak, onderdane, vakgebied, onderwerpenDutch
  • podmiot, poddany, poddana, przedmiot, tematPolish
  • sujeito, matéria, súdito, disciplina, submeterPortuguese
  • temaRomansh
  • subiect, materie, temă, disciplinăRomanian
  • по́дданный, предме́т, те́ма, подлежа́щее, субъе́кт, подве́ргнуть, подве́рженный, подверга́тьRussian
  • विषयSanskrit
  • пре́дмет, sùbjekt, prédmet, pódmet, по́дмет, су̀бјектSerbo-Croatian
  • podmetSlovak
  • osebekSlovene
  • subjekt, ämne, föremål, utsättaSwedish
  • somo, raiaSwahili
  • పాఠ్యాంశము, కర్త, విషయముTelugu
  • konu, ders, dal, özne, alanTurkish
  • пі́дметUkrainian
  • ﺭﻋﺎﻳﺎUrdu
  • chủ đề, chủ ngữVietnamese
  • reigäb, yegäd, jireigäb, hireigäb, subyetVolapük
  • inhloko, isifundo, umenzi, isihlokoZulu

Get even more translations for subject »


Find a translation for the subject definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these subject definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "subject." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 29 Jun 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/subject>.

    Are we missing a good definition for subject? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    a scar where the umbilical cord was attached
    • A. imperviousness
    • B. omphalos
    • C. foumart
    • D. hypostatization

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for subject: