• Subject


    Adjective and Noun
    • enPR: sÅ­bʹjÄ•kt, IPA: /ˈsÊŒb.dÊ’É›kt/
    • RP IPA: /ˈsÊŒb.dʒɪkt/
    • enPR: sÉ™b-jÄ•ktʹ, IPA: /sÉ™bˈdÊ’É›kt/, /sÊŒbˈdÊ’É›kt/
    • Rhymes: -É›kt
    • Hyphenation: sub + ject


    From Middle English subget, from Old French suget, from Latin subiectus ("lying under or near, adjacent, also subject, exposed"), as a noun, subiectus ("a subject, an inferior"), subiectum ("the subject of a proposition"), past participle of subiciō ("throw, lay, place"), from sub ("under, at the foot of") + iaciō ("throw, hurl").

    Full definition of subject



    1. Likely to be affected by or to experience something.a country subject to extreme heat
      • DrydenAll human things are subject to decay.
      • 2013-06-22, T time, The ability to shift profits to low-tax countries by locating intellectual property in them...is often assumed to be the preserve of high-tech companies....current tax rules make it easy for all sorts of firms to generate...“stateless income”: profit subject to tax in a jurisdiction that is neither the location of the factors of production that generate the income nor where the parent firm is domiciled.
    2. Menu listings and prices are subject to change.
      He's subject to sneezing fits.
    3. Conditional upon.
      The local board sets local policy, subject to approval from the State Board.
    4. Placed or situated under; lying below, or in a lower situation.
    5. Placed under the power of another; owing allegiance to a particular sovereign or state.
      • John LockeEsau was never subject to Jacob.



    (plural subjects)
    1. (grammar) In a clause: the word or word group (usually a noun phrase) that is dealt with. In active clauses with verbs denoting an action, the subject and the actor are usually the same.
      In the sentence ‘The mouse is eaten by the cat in the kitchen.’, ‘The mouse’ is the subject, ‘the cat’ being the agent.
    2. The main topic of a paper, work of art, discussion, field of study, etc.
      • John Milton (1608-1674)the subject for heroic song
      • John Dryden (1631-1700)Make choice of a subject, beautiful and noble, which ... shall afford an ample field of matter wherein to expatiate.
      • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)the unhappy subject of these quarrels
      • 1905, w, w:The Case of Miss Elliott Chapter 5, Then I had a good think on the subject of the hocussing of Cigarette, and I was reluctantly bound to admit that once again the man in the corner had found the only possible solution to the mystery.
      • 1922, Ben Travers, A Cuckoo in the Nest Chapter 5, The departure was not unduly prolonged....Within the door Mrs. Spoker hastily imparted to Mrs. Love a few final sentiments on the subject of Divine Intention in the disposition of buckets; farewells and last commiserations; a deep, guttural instigation to the horse; and the wheels of the waggonette crunched heavily away into obscurity.
    3. A particular area of study.
      Her favorite subject is physics.
      • 2014-06-14, It's a gas, One of the hidden glories of Victorian engineering is proper drains....But out of sight is out of mind. And that, together with the inherent yuckiness of the subject, means that many old sewers have been neglected and are in dire need of repair.
    4. A citizen in a monarchy.
      I am a British subject.
    5. A person ruled over by another, especially a monarch or state authority.
    6. (music) The main theme or melody, especially in a fugue.
      • W. S. Rockstro (1823-1895)The earliest known form of subject is the ecclesiastical cantus firmus, or plain song.
    7. A human, animal or an inanimate object that is being examined, treated, analysed, etc.
      • Conyers Middleton (1683-1750)Writers of particular lives...are apt to be prejudiced in favour of their subject.
      • 2013, Catherine Clabby, Focus on Everything, Not long ago, it was difficult to produce photographs of tiny creatures with every part in focus. That’s because the lenses that are excellent at magnifying tiny subjects produce a narrow depth of field.


    Derived terms


    1. (transitive, construed with to) To cause (someone or something) to undergo a particular experience, especially one that is unpleasant or unwanted.
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