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[suh b-skrahyb] /səbˈskraɪb/
verb (used with object), subscribed, subscribing.
to pledge, as by signing an agreement, to give or pay (a sum of money) as a contribution, gift, or investment:
He subscribed $6,000 for the new church.
to give or pay in fulfillment of such a pledge.
to append one's signature or mark to (a document), as in approval or attestation of its contents.
to attest by or as by signing.
to append, as one's signature, at the bottom of a document or the like; sign.
to agree or assent to.
verb (used without object), subscribed, subscribing.
to pledge, as by signing an agreement, to give or pay money as a contribution, gift, or investment.
to give or pay money in fulfillment of such a pledge.
to obtain or have a subscription to a publication, concert series, service, etc.:
She subscribes to two food magazines.
to give one's consent; sanction:
I will not subscribe to popular fallacies.
to sign one's name to a document.
to give approval to the contents of a document by signing one's name.
Origin of subscribe
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English subscriben < Latin subscrībere, equivalent to sub- sub- + scrībere to write
Related forms
subscribable, adjective
subscribership, noun
nonsubscribing, adjective
presubscribe, verb, presubscribed, presubscribing.
resubscribe, verb, resubscribed, resubscribing.
unsubscribed, adjective
unsubscribing, adjective
Can be confused
ascribe, proscribe, subscribe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for subscribing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He advocates a resumption of these inconsiderate and misplaced gifts, and reproves the prelates for subscribing the books.

    Domesday Book and Beyond Frederic William Maitland
  • For this purpose Thomas Jefferson helped by subscribing $75.00.

    A Portrait of Old George Town Grace Dunlop Ecker
  • The hall servants made considerable sums by subscribing for those who could not get through the crowd to the offices.

  • He put it down with the air of one subscribing to a charity.

  • She left off subscribing to anything when they came; and he behaved very ill to the Admiral and everybody at a vestry-meeting.'

    The Young Step-Mother Charlotte M. Yonge
  • The people are tired of subscribing to all sorts of schemes.

    Mary Louise and the Liberty Girls Edith Van Dyne (AKA L. Frank Baum)
  • I knew he was subscribing to Pravda or a Russian newspaper of some kind from Moscow.

    Warren Commission (11 of 26): Hearings Vol. XI (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • She was after money, as usual, but this time it's her book she insisted on my subscribing for.

    My Wife and I Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • In subscribing to the belief in witchcraft, the Christian Church thus fell into line with earlier forms of religious belief.

    Religion & Sex Chapman Cohen
British Dictionary definitions for subscribing


(usually foll by to) to pay or promise to pay (a sum of money) as a contribution (to a fund or charity, for a magazine, etc), esp at regular intervals
to inscribe or sign (one's name, etc) at the end of a contract, will, or other document
(intransitive) foll by to. to give support or approval: to subscribe to the theory of transubstantiation
Derived Forms
subscriber, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin subscrībere to write underneath, from sub- + scrībere to write
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for subscribing



early 15c., "to sign at the bottom of a document," from Latin subscribere "write underneath, sign one's name," from sub "underneath" (see sub-) + scribere "write" (see script (n.)). The meaning "give one's consent" first recorded 1540s; that of "contribute money to" 1630s; and that of "become a regular buyer of a publication" 1711, all originally literal. Related: Subscribed; subscribing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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