[ suhb-tahyt-l ]
/ ˈsʌbˌtaɪt l /


a secondary or subordinate title of a literary work, usually of explanatory character.
a repetition of the leading words in the full title of a book at the head of the first page of text.
Movies, Television.
  1. the text of dialogue, speeches, operas, etc., translated into another language and projected on the lower part of the screen.
  2. (in silent motion pictures) a title or caption.

verb (used with object), sub·ti·tled, sub·ti·tling.

to give a subtitle to.

Nearby words

  1. subtilely,
  2. subtilisin,
  3. subtility,
  4. subtilize,
  5. subtilty,
  6. subtitled,
  7. subtle,
  8. subtlety,
  9. subtonic,
  10. subtopia

Origin of subtitle

First recorded in 1875–80; sub- + title

Related formssub·tit·u·lar [suhb-tich-uh-ler, -tit-yuh-] /sʌbˈtɪtʃ ə lər, -ˈtɪt yə-/, adjectiveun·sub·ti·tled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for subtitle

British Dictionary definitions for subtitle


/ (ˈsʌbˌtaɪtəl) /


an additional subordinate title given to a literary or other work
Also called: caption (often plural) films
  1. a written translation superimposed on a film that has foreign dialogue
  2. explanatory text on a silent film


(tr; usually passive) to provide a subtitle for
Derived Formssubtitular (sʌbˈtɪtjʊlə, -ˈtɪtʃə-), 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 subtitle



1825, "subordinate or additional title," in reference to literary works, from sub- "under" + title. Applied to motion pictures first in 1909.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper