• enPR: sŭbʹjĕkt, IPA: /ˈsʌb.dʒɛkt/
  • (also) (RP) IPA: /ˈsʌb.dʒɪkt/


  1. Likely to be affected by or to experience something.
    a country subject to extreme heat
    • c. 1678 (written), 1682 (published), John Dryden, Mac Flecknoe
      All human things are subject to decay.
    Menu listings and prices are subject to change.
    He's subject to sneezing fits.
  2. Conditional upon.
    The local board sets local policy, subject to approval from the State Board.
  3. Placed or situated under; lying below, or in a lower situation.
  4. Placed under the power of another; owing allegiance to a particular sovereign or state.
    • 1689 December (indicated as 1690), [John Locke], Two Treatises of Government: […], London: […] Awnsham Churchill, […], OCLC 83985187 ↗:
      , Book I
      Esau was never subject to Jacob.
Translations Translations Pronunciation
  • enPR: sŭbʹjĕkt, IPA: /ˈsʌb.dʒɛkt/
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈsʌb.dʒɪkt/

subject (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. An actor; one who takes action.
    The subjects and objects of power.
  3. The main topic of a paper, work of art, discussion, field of study, etc.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 8”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      this subject for heroic song
    • Make choice of a subject, beautiful and noble, which […] shall afford an ample field of matter wherein to expatiate.
    • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene i]:
      I am th' unhappy subject of these quarrels. All these quarrels are about me.
  4. A particular area of study.
    Her favorite subject is physics.
  5. A citizen in a monarchy.
    I am a British subject.
  6. A person ruled over by another, especially a monarch or state authority.
  7. (music) The main theme or melody, especially in a fugue.
    • The earliest known form of subject is the ecclesiastical cantus firmus, or plain song.
  8. A human, animal or an inanimate object that is being examined, treated, analysed, etc.
    • Writers of particular lives […] are apt to be prejudiced in favour of their subject.
  9. (philosophy) A being that has subjective experiences, subjective consciousness, or a relationship with another entity.
  10. (logic) That of which something is stated.
  11. (math) The variable in terms of which an expression is defined.
    Making x the subject of xsup 2 − 6x + 3y = 0, we have x = 3 ± √(9 − 3y).
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Pronunciation
  • enPR: səb-jĕktʹ, IPA: /səbˈdʒɛkt/, /sʌbˈdʒɛkt/

subject (subjects, present participle subjecting; past and past participle subjected)

  1. (transitive, construed with to) To cause (someone or something) to undergo a particular experience, especially one that is unpleasant or unwanted.
    I came here to buy souvenirs, not to be subjected to a tirade of abuse!
  2. (transitive) To make subordinate or subservient; to subdue or enslave.
Synonyms Translations

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