[suh b-skrip-shuh n]
  1. a sum of money given or pledged as a contribution, payment, investment, etc.
  2. the right to receive a periodical for a sum paid, usually for an agreed number of issues.
  3. an arrangement for presenting a series of concerts, plays, etc., that one may attend by the payment of a membership fee: to purchase a 10-concert subscription.
  4. the right to receive a service or access text online for a certain period of time: a subscription to a media streaming service; a subscription to an online encyclopedia; a satellite-TV subscription.
  5. Chiefly British. the dues paid by a member of a club, society, etc.
  6. a fund raised through sums of money subscribed.
  7. a sum subscribed.
  8. the act of appending one's signature or mark, as to a document.
  9. a signature or mark thus appended.
  10. something written beneath or at the end of a document or the like.
  11. a document to which a signature is attached.
  12. assent, agreement, or approval expressed verbally or by signing one's name.
  13. Ecclesiastical. assent to or acceptance of a body of principles or doctrines, the purpose of which is to establish uniformity.
  14. Church of England. formal acceptance of the Thirty-nine Articles of 1563 and the Book of Common Prayer.

Origin of subscription

1400–50; late Middle English < Old French subscription < Latin subscrīptiōn- (stem of subscrīptiō) “something written beneath, signature, subscription” equivalent to subscrīpt(us) (see subscript) + -iōn- -ion
Related formssub·scrip·tive [suh b-skrip-tiv] /səbˈskrɪp tɪv/, adjectivesub·scrip·tive·ly, adverbnon·sub·scrip·tion, nounpre·sub·scrip·tion, nounpro·sub·scrip·tion, adjectivere·sub·scrip·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for subscriptive


  1. a payment or promise of payment for consecutive issues of a magazine, newspaper, book, etc, over a specified period of time
    1. the advance purchase of tickets for a series of concerts, operas, etc
    2. (as modifier)a subscription concert
  2. an amount of money paid or promised, as to a charity, or the fund raised in this way
  3. an offer to buy shares or bonds issued by a company
  4. the act of signing one's name to a document, etc
  5. a signature or other appendage attached to the bottom of a document, etc
  6. agreement, consent, or acceptance expressed by or as if by signing one's name
  7. a signed document, statement, etc
  8. mainly British the membership dues or fees paid to a society or club
  9. acceptance of a fixed body of articles of faith, doctrines, or principles laid down as universally binding upon all the members of a Church
  10. med that part of a written prescription directing the pharmacist how to mix and prepare the ingredients: rarely seen today as modern drugs are mostly prepackaged by the manufacturers
  11. an advance order for a new product
    1. the sale of books, etc, prior to printing
    2. (as modifier)a subscription edition
  12. archaic allegiance; submission
Abbreviation: sub
Derived Formssubscriptive, adjective
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 subscriptive



c.1400, "piece of writing at the end of a document," from Middle French subscription, from Latin subscriptionem (nominative subscriptio) "anything written underneath, a signature," noun of action from past participle stem of subscribere (see subscribe for etymology and sense development).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

subscriptive in Medicine


  1. The part of a prescription giving the directions to the pharmacist.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.