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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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



belonging to, proceeding from, or relating to the mind of the thinking subject and not the nature of the object being considered
of, relating to, or emanating from a person's emotions, prejudices, etcsubjective views
relating to the inherent nature of a person or thing; essential
existing only as perceived and not as a thing in itself
med (of a symptom, condition, etc) experienced only by the patient and incapable of being recognized or studied by anyone else
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. 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

Medicine definitions for subjective




Of, relating to, or designating a symptom or condition perceived by the patient and not by the examiner.
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.