- 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 for subject on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for subjects
They wrote about subjects that they knew intimately, or that troubled or fascinated them, which is what all novelists do.The 2014 Novel of the Year
December 29, 2014
Klaus espouses inflammatory views on a variety of subjects, some of which Cato happily embraced.Vaclav Klaus, Libertarian Hero, Has His Wings Clipped by Cato Institute
December 22, 2014
Poolaw spent most of his life (1906—84) documenting Indian subjects.The Best Coffee Table Books of 2014
December 13, 2014
But records uncovered by the Senate Intelligence Committee suggest there may have been more than three subjects.The Most Gruesome Moments in the CIA ‘Torture Report’
Shane Harris, Tim Mak
December 9, 2014
RELATED: Annie Leibovitz's 'Pilgrimage' (Photos) The subjects for Pilgrimage, on the other hand, are intimate objects.Annie Leibovitz Talks About ‘Pilgrimage,’ Susan Sontag, Vogue & More
November 20, 2014
It was for ever fighting someone, somewhere, for causes which did not interest the subjects at all.
The Jews were the subjects of a foreign race and money was scarce.
The King of course could not allow one of his subjects to outdo him in such a matter.
To be so particular as you require in subjects of conversation, it is impossible to be short.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
And then a history, distinguishing the books by the names of their subjects.A Theological-Political Treatise [Part II]
Benedict of Spinoza
- 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 subjects
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.)
Idioms and Phrases with subjects
In addition to the idiom beginning with subject
- subject to, be
- change the subject