[ noun, adjective suhb-jikt; verb suhb-jekt ]
/ noun, adjective ˈsʌb dʒɪkt; verb səbˈdʒɛkt /
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See synonyms for: subject / subjected / subjecting / subjects on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
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Origin of subject

First recorded in 1275–1325; (adjective) from Latin subjectus “placed beneath, inferior, open to inspection,” originally the past participle of subicere “to throw or place beneath, make subject,” equivalent to sub-sub- + -jec-, combining form of jacere “to throw” + -tus past participle suffix; replacing Middle English suget, from Old French, from Latin, as above; (noun) from Late Latin subjectum “grammatical or dialectical subject,” noun use of neuter of subjectus; replacing Middle English suget, as above; (verb) from Latin subjectāre, frequentative of subicere; replacing Middle English suget(t)en, from Old French sugetter, from Latin, as above

synonym study for subject

1, 4. Subject, theme, topic are often interchangeable to express the material being considered in a speech or written composition. Subject is a broad word for whatever is treated in writing, speech, art, etc.: the subject for discussion. Theme and topic are usually narrower and apply to some limited or specific part of a general subject. A theme is often the underlying conception of a discourse or composition, perhaps not put into words but easily recognizable: The theme of a need for reform runs throughout her work. A topic is the statement of what is to be treated in a section of a composition: The topic is treated fully in this section.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use subject in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for subject

Abbreviation: subj

Derived forms of subject

subjectable, adjectivesubjectability, nounsubjectless, adjectivesubject-like, adjective

Word Origin for subject

C14: from Latin subjectus brought under, from subicere to place under, from sub- + jacere to throw
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

Cultural definitions for subject


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.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with subject


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.