subtext

[suhb-tekst]

Origin of subtext

1945–50; translation of Russian podtékst; see sub-, text
Related formssub·tex·tu·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for subtextual

subtext

noun
  1. an underlying theme in a piece of writing
  2. a message which is not stated directly but can be inferred
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 subtextual

subtext

n.

"underlying theme of a work of literature, 1950, from sub- + text. Originally a term in Konstantin Stanislavsky's theory of acting. Earlier it was used in a literally sense of "text appearing below other text on a page" (1726).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper