- that which forms a basic matter of thought, discussion, investigation, etc.: a subject of conversation.
- a branch of knowledge as a course of study: He studied four subjects in his first year at college.
- a motive, cause, or ground: a subject for complaint.
- the theme of a sermon, book, story, etc.
- the principal melodic motif or phrase in a musical composition, especially in a fugue.
- an object, scene, incident, etc., chosen by an artist for representation, or as represented in art.
- a person who is under the dominion or rule of a sovereign.
- a person who owes allegiance to a government and lives under its protection: four subjects of Sweden.
- Grammar. (in English and many other languages) a syntactic unit that functions as one of the two main constituents of a simple sentence, the other being the predicate, and that consists of a noun, noun phrase, or noun substitute which often refers to the one performing the action or being in the state expressed by the predicate, as He in He gave notice.
- a person or thing that undergoes or may undergo some action: As a dissenter, he found himself the subject of the group's animosity.
- a person or thing under the control or influence of another.
- a person as an object of medical, surgical, or psychological treatment or experiment.
- a cadaver used for dissection.
- Logic. that term of a proposition concerning which the predicate is affirmed or denied.
- that which thinks, feels, perceives, intends, etc., as contrasted with the objects of thought, feeling, etc.
- the self or ego.
- Metaphysics. that in which qualities or attributes inhere; substance.
- being under domination, control, or influence (often followed by to).
- being under dominion, rule, or authority, as of a sovereign, state, or some governing power; owing allegiance or obedience (often followed by to).
- open or exposed (usually followed by to): subject to ridicule.
- being dependent or conditional upon something (usually followed by to): His consent is subject to your approval.
- being under the necessity of undergoing something (usually followed by to): All beings are subject to death.
- liable; prone (usually followed by to): subject to headaches.
- to bring under domination, control, or influence (usually followed by to).
- to bring under dominion, rule, or authority, as of a conqueror or a governing power (usually followed by to).
- to cause to undergo the action of something specified; expose (usually followed by to): to subject metal to intense heat.
- to make liable or vulnerable; lay open; expose (usually followed by to): to subject oneself to ridicule.
- Obsolete. to place beneath something; make subjacent.
Origin of subject
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for subject
Throughout the fifties, in city after city, fluoridation became the subject of fierce debate.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
He allows the subject to float over to Hitchcock with a calm directness that I admire.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
No one knows what they're about but Boba Fett is rumored to be the subject of one.Shocking New Reveals From Sony Hack: J. Law, Pitt, Clooney, and Star Wars
December 12, 2014
I had visited distilleries all over the world and reached a level of expertise about the subject.A Whisky Connoisseur Remembers That First Sip of The Macallan
December 10, 2014
Detainees there were subject to sleep deprivation, shackled to bars with their hands above their heads.Inside the CIA’s Sadistic Dungeon
December 9, 2014
But there is one subject, on which my mind is filled with foreboding.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Mrs. Davis saw that there was no use in pursuing the subject, and it dropped.
He was not timid, however, and resolved to broach the subject.
What he had to say therefore on the subject would not detain them long.Explorations in Australia
At all events, this was a subject upon which I received no enlightening from their confidant.
- the predominant theme or topic, as of a book, discussion, etc
- (in combination)subject-heading
- any branch of learning considered as a course of study
- grammar logic a word, phrase, or formal expression about which something is predicated or stated in a sentence; for example, the cat in the sentence The cat catches mice
- a person or thing that undergoes experiment, analysis, treatment, etc
- a person who lives under the rule of a monarch, government, etc
- an object, figure, scene, etc, as selected by an artist or photographer for representation
- that which thinks or feels as opposed to the object of thinking and feeling; the self or the mind
- a substance as opposed to its attributes
- Also called: theme music a melodic or thematic phrase used as the principal motif of a fugue, the basis from which the musical material is derived in a sonata-form movement, or the recurrent figure in a rondo
- the term of a categorial statement of which something is predicated
- the reference or denotation of the subject term of a statement. The subject of John is tall is not the name John, but John himself
- an originating motive
- change the subject to select a new topic of conversation
- being under the power or sovereignty of a ruler, government, etcsubject peoples
- showing a tendency (towards)a child subject to indiscipline
- exposed or vulnerablesubject to ribaldry
- conditional uponthe results are subject to correction
- subject to (preposition) under the condition thatwe accept, subject to her agreement
- (foll by to) to cause to undergo the application (of)they subjected him to torture
- (often passive foll by to) to expose or render vulnerable or liable (to some experience)he was subjected to great danger
- (foll by to) to bring under the control or authority (of)to subject a soldier to discipline
- rare to subdue or subjugate
- rare to present for consideration; submit
- obsolete to place below
Word Origin and History for subject
early 14c., "person under control or dominion of another," from Old French suget, subget "a subject person or thing" (12c.), from Latin subiectus, noun use of past participle of subicere "to place under," from sub "under" (see sub-) + combining form of iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). In 14c., sugges, sogetis, subgit, sugette; form re-Latinized in English 16c.
Meaning "person or thing that may be acted upon" is recorded from 1590s. Meaning "subject matter of an art or science" is attested from 1540s, probably short for subject matter (late 14c.), which is from Medieval Latin subjecta materia, a loan translation of Greek hypokeimene hyle (Aristotle), literally "that which lies beneath." Likewise some specific uses in logic and philosophy are borrowed directly from Latin subjectum "foundation or subject of a proposition," a loan-translation of Aristotle's to hypokeimenon. Grammatical sense is recorded from 1630s. The adjective is attested from early 14c.
late 14c., "to make (a person or nation) subject to another by force," also "to render submissive or dependent," from Latin subjectare, from the root of subject (n.). Meaning "to lay open or expose to (some force or occurrence)" is recorded from 1540s. Related: Subjected; subjecting.
A part of every sentence. The subject tells what the sentence is about; it contains the main noun or noun phrase: “The car crashed into the railing”; “Judy and two of her friends were elected to the National Honor Society.” In some cases the subject is implied: you is the implied subject in “Get me some orange juice.” (Compare predicate.)