Free & Quick Proofreading from Grammarly!

subject Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the subject matter of a conversation or discussion
    topic; theme.
    • he didn't want to discuss that subject
    • it was a very sensitive topic
    • his letters were always on the theme of love
  2. noun something (a person or object or scene) selected by an artist or photographer for graphic representation
    content; depicted object.
    • a moving picture of a train is more dramatic than a still picture of the same subject
  3. noun a branch of knowledge
    discipline; subject field; field of study; study; subject area; field; bailiwick.
    • in what discipline is his doctorate?
    • teachers should be well trained in their subject
    • anthropology is the study of human beings
  4. noun some situation or event that is thought about
    topic; matter; issue.
    • he kept drifting off the topic
    • he had been thinking about the subject for several years
    • it is a matter for the police
  5. noun (grammar) one of the two main constituents of a sentence; the grammatical constituent about which something is predicated
  6. noun a person who is subjected to experimental or other observational procedures; someone who is an object of investigation
    case; guinea pig.
    • the subjects for this investigation were selected randomly
    • the cases that we studied were drawn from two different communities
  7. noun a person who owes allegiance to that nation
    • a monarch has a duty to his subjects
  8. noun (logic) the first term of a proposition
  9. 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
  10. verb make accountable for
    • He did not want to subject himself to the judgments of his superiors
  11. verb make subservient; force to submit or subdue
  12. verb refer for judgment or consideration
    • The lawyers submitted the material to the court
  13. adjective satellite possibly accepting or permitting
    open; capable.
    • 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
  14. adjective satellite being under the power or sovereignty of another or others
    • subject peoples
    • a dependent prince
  15. adjective satellite likely to be affected by something
    • the bond is subject to taxation
    • he is subject to fits of depression

Sub*ject" adjective
OE. suget, OF. souzget, sougit (in which the first part is L. subtus below, fr. sub under), subgiet, subject, F. sujet, from L. subjectus lying under, subjected, p.p. of subjicere, subicere, to throw, lay, place, or bring under; sub under + jacere to throw. See Jet a shooting forth.
  1. Placed or situated under; lying below, or in a lower situation. Obs. Spenser.
  2. Placed under the power of another; specifically (International Law), owing allegiance to a particular sovereign or state; as, Jamaica is subject to Great Britain.
    Esau was never subject to Jacob. Locke.
  3. Exposed; liable; prone; disposed; as, a country subject to extreme heat; men subject to temptation.
    All human things are subject to decay. Dryden.
  4. Obedient; submissive.
    Put them in mind to be subject to principalities. Titus iii. 1.
    Syn. -- Liable; subordinate; inferior; obnoxious; exposed. See Liable.
Sub*ject" noun
From L. subjectus, through an old form of F. sujet. See Subject, a.
  1. That which is placed under the authority, dominion, control, or influence of something else.
  2. 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.
    Was never subject longed to be a king, As I do long and wish to be a subject. Shak.
    The subject must obey his prince, because God commands it, human laws require it. Swift.
    ✍ In international law, the term subject is convertible with citizen.
  3. That which is subjected, or submitted to, any physical operation or process; specifically (Anat.), a dead body used for the purpose of dissection. also, an animal or person which is studied in a scientific experiment.
  4. That which is brought under thought or examination; that which is taken up for discussion, or concerning which anything is said or done. "This subject for heroic song." Milton.
    Make choice of a subject, beautiful and noble, which . . . shall afford an ample field of matter wherein to expatiate. Dryden.
    The unhappy subject of these quarrels. Shak.
  5. The person who is treated of; the hero of a piece; the chief character.
    Writers of particular lives . . . are apt to be prejudiced in favor of their subject. C. Middleton.
  6. (Logic & Gram.) 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.
    The subject of a proposition is that concerning which anything is affirmed or denied. I. Watts.
  7. That in which any quality, attribute, or relation, whether spiritual or material, inheres, or to which any of these appertain; substance; substratum.
    That which manifests its qualities -- in other words, that in which the appearing causes inhere, that to which they belong -- is called their subject or substance, or substratum. Sir W. Hamilton.
  8. 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.
    The philosophers of mind have, in a manner, usurped and appropriated this expression to themselves. Accordingly, in their hands, the phrases conscious or thinking subject, and subject, mean precisely the same thing. Sir W. Hamilton.
  9. (Mus.) The principal theme, or leading thought or phrase, on which a composition or a movement is based.
    The earliest known form of subject is the ecclesiastical cantus firmus, or plain song. Rockstro.
  10. (Fine Arts) The incident, scene, figure, group, etc., which it is the aim of the artist to represent.
Sub*ject" transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Subjected ; present participle & verbal noun Subjecting
  1. To bring under control, power, or dominion; to make subject; to subordinate; to subdue.
    Firmness of mind that subjects every gratification of sense to the rule of right reason. C. Middleton.
    In one short view subjected to our eye, Gods, emperors, heroes, sages, beauties, lie. Pope.
    He is the most subjected, the most nslaved, who is so in his understanding. Locke.
  2. To expose; to make obnoxious or liable; as, credulity subjects a person to impositions.
  3. To submit; to make accountable.
    God is not bound to subject his ways of operation to the scrutiny of our thoughts. Locke.
  4. To make subservient.
    Subjected to his service angel wings. Milton.
  5. To cause to undergo; as, to subject a substance to a white heat; to subject a person to a rigid test.

Webster 1913