See more synonyms for subjective on
  1. existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought (opposed to objective).
  2. pertaining to or characteristic of an individual; personal; individual: a subjective evaluation.
  3. placing excessive emphasis on one's own moods, attitudes, opinions, etc.; unduly egocentric.
  4. Philosophy. relating to or of the nature of an object as it is known in the mind as distinct from a thing in itself.
  5. relating to properties or specific conditions of the mind as distinguished from general or universal experience.
  6. pertaining to the subject or substance in which attributes inhere; essential.
  7. Grammar.
    1. pertaining to or constituting the subject of a sentence.
    2. (in English and certain other languages) noting a case specialized for that use, as He in He hit the ball.
    3. similar to such a case in meaning.Compare nominative.
  8. Obsolete. characteristic of a political subject; submissive.

Origin of subjective

1400–50; late Middle English: pertaining to a subject of a ruler < Latin subjectīvus; see subject, -ive
Related formssub·jec·tive·ly, adverbsub·jec·tive·ness, nounnon·sub·jec·tive, adjectivenon·sub·jec·tive·ly, adverbnon·sub·jec·tive·ness, nounqua·si-sub·jec·tive, adjectivequa·si-sub·jec·tive·ly, adverbun·sub·jec·tive, adjectiveun·sub·jec·tive·ly, adverb

Synonyms for subjective

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for subjective

Contemporary Examples of subjective

Historical Examples of subjective

  • This was the subjective which corresponded to the objective 'All is flux.'

  • There are three subjective principles of morals,—sympathy, benevolence, self-love.

  • No one saw that this objective was really a subjective, and involved the subjectivity of all knowledge.



  • But the ideas themselves are not subjective, and therefore are not within our ken.'

  • This it is not; it has an objective existence, but no subjective.

    Essays, Second Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

British Dictionary definitions for subjective


  1. belonging to, proceeding from, or relating to the mind of the thinking subject and not the nature of the object being considered
  2. of, relating to, or emanating from a person's emotions, prejudices, etcsubjective views
  3. relating to the inherent nature of a person or thing; essential
  4. existing only as perceived and not as a thing in itself
  5. med (of a symptom, condition, etc) experienced only by the patient and incapable of being recognized or studied by anyone else
  6. grammar denoting a case of nouns and pronouns, esp in languages having only two cases, that identifies the subject of a finite verb and (in formal use in English) is selected for predicate complements, as in It is ISee also nominative (def. 1)
  1. grammar
    1. the subjective case
    2. a subjective word or speech element
Abbreviation: subj
Derived Formssubjectively, adverbsubjectivity or subjectiveness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for subjective

mid-15c., "pertaining to a political subject" (now obsolete), from Late Latin subjectivus, from subjectus (see subject (n.)). Meaning "existing in the mind" (mind="the thinking subject") is from 1707; thus, "personal idiosyncratic" (1767). Related: Subjectively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

subjective in Medicine


  1. Of, relating to, or designating a symptom or condition perceived by the patient and not by the examiner.
  2. Existing only in the mind; illusory.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.