Meaning of SUBJECT in English


1. something you talk about, write about etc

2. a part of a subject that is being discussed or written about

3. a subject that you study at school or university

4. all of the subjects that you study as part of your work at school or university

5. to start talking about a subject

6. to talk about the subject you are supposed to be talking about

7. to stop talking about the subject you are supposed to be talking about


an area of knowledge : ↑ AREA

see also










1. something you talk about, write about etc

▷ subject /ˈsʌbdʒɪkt/ [countable noun]

something that is talked about or written about, for example at a meeting, in an article, or in a conversation :

▪ I read a lot of books about astronomy. It’s a very interesting subject.

▪ We talked about all sorts of subjects.

▪ Bottle-collecting even has a website devoted to the subject.

the subject of crime/politics/animal rights etc

crime etc as a subject

▪ Until about 20 years ago, the subject of the environment was hardly discussed.

on the subject (of something)

about a particular subject

▪ The first book on the subject was published in 1900.

▪ He has very little to say on the subject of the accusations made against him.

change the subject

start talking about something different

▪ I could see John was embarrassed, so I changed the subject.

drop the subject

to stop talking about something

▪ This is getting us nowhere. Let’s just drop the subject, okay?

▷ subject matter /ˈsʌbdʒɪkt ˌmætəʳ/ [uncountable noun]

what is being talked about, or what a film, book, play etc is about :

▪ There has been no attempt to arrange the books according to subject matter.

▪ Sagan published a book relating to the subject matter in his TV show.

▪ ‘The People versus Larry Flynt’ was given an ‘18’ certificate because it contains adult subject matter.

▷ topic /ˈtɒpɪkǁˈtɑː-/ [countable noun]

a subject that people often discuss or write about, in books, newspapers, at school etc :

▪ The rise of Islam is a popular topic these days.

▪ Type the topic into the search field, and let the browser search all relevant sites.

▪ Dole’s absence was the topic of radio talk shows.

▷ thing /θɪŋ/ [countable noun] especially spoken

something that people talk about or think about :

▪ The first thing we have to discuss is the price.

▪ The only thing she ever talks about is her boyfriend.

▪ We talked about the old days and other things.

▷ issue /ˈɪʃuː, ˈɪsjuːǁˈɪʃuː/ [countable noun]

an important subject that people discuss and argue about :

▪ We’ll be looking at a broad range of important issues in this chapter.

▪ Genetic manipulation is a fairly topical issue these days.

▪ a book dealing with environmental issues

issue of

▪ the issue of drugs in sports

major/big/key/main issue

a very important issue

▪ Global warming and youth crime are the key issues in the election campaign.

▷ question /ˈkwestʃ ə n/ [countable noun]

a difficult subject or problem that has often been discussed but still needs to be solved :

▪ The real question here is how can we integrate asylum seekers into communities.

▪ How can we best help less developed countries? That’s the really important question.

question of

▪ In the 1980s the question of whether photography was an art went to court.

raise a question

make people consider a problem

▪ These operations can save lives, but they raise difficult questions about animal rights.

▷ matter /ˈmætəʳ/ [countable noun]

a subject that people disagree about or are concerned about, and that needs to be considered and discussed in order to deal with it :

▪ The matter is being argued and discussed in families up and down the country.

▪ Foreign affairs were not the only matters we discussed.

▪ This meeting is being held to deal with the serious matter of possible racism in our hiring practices.

matter of

▪ The first item on the agenda today is the matter of public transportation.

▷ theme /θiːm/ [countable noun]

an important idea that appears several times in a book, film etc, and slowly influences the way it develops :

▪ One of the themes of the book is the relationship between people and nature.

▪ George Eliot shows real concern for religious and moral themes.

▪ The play’s central theme is greed and its corrupting effects.

▷ business /ˈbɪznɪs, ˈbɪznəs/ [uncountable noun]

something that needs to be discussed at a business or political meeting :

▪ Right, could we get started please? We’ve a lot of business to get through this morning.

▷ any other business /ˌeni ʌðəʳ ˈbɪznə̇s/ British

in a meeting, subjects that are not on the list of things to discuss, but that people may want to talk about :

▪ Is there any other business before we close the meeting?

2. a part of a subject that is being discussed or written about

▷ point /pɔɪnt/ [countable noun]

a fact, suggestion, detail etc that is part of a subject being considered, discussed, or written about :

▪ There are a number of other points to be discussed before we finish.

▪ The final point in the President’s speech was the most controversial.

▪ Make a list of the main points in the article.

make a point

get someone to understand your suggestion, argument etc

▪ Exactly what point are you trying to make, Nick?

▷ aspect /ˈæspekt/ [countable noun]

one part of a subject, problem, etc or one particular way of considering the subject :

▪ Women are interested in the car’s technological aspects just as much as men are.

aspect of

▪ We’re focused on the financial, rather than social, aspects of the problem.

▪ This book deals with the economic, social, and religious aspects of Egyptian society.

3. a subject that you study at school or university

▷ subject /ˈsʌbdʒɪkt/ [countable noun]

one of the things that you study at school or university, for example English, history, or mathematics :

▪ English was my favourite subject at school.

▪ What subjects are you studying?

▷ major /ˈmeɪdʒəʳ/ [countable noun] American

the main subject that you study at university :

▪ ‘What was your major?’ ‘Political Science’.

major in math/humanities etc /ˌmeɪdʒər ɪn ˈmæθ/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to study mathematics etc as your main subject: :

▪ I don’t think he majored in maths, I think it was applied physics.

▷ discipline /ˈdɪsɪplən, ˈdɪsəplən/ [countable noun]

one of the areas of knowledge such as history, chemistry, economics etc that is studied and taught at a university :

▪ The traditional academic disciplines are less popular among students, who now prefer subjects such as business studies.

▪ a new artificial intelligence project involving researchers from a wide range of disciplines

▷ field /fiːld/ [countable noun]

an area of knowledge that is studied by scientists or by people studying it at a very high level, for example in a university :

▪ These fields boast among the highest professional wages in the nation.

in the/his/her etc field

▪ Cole is the most noted expert in the field.

▪ Webster is a great success in his chosen field.

field of work/study/research etc

▪ What exactly is your field of study?

4. all of the subjects that you study as part of your work at school or university

▷ course also class American /kɔːʳs, klɑːsǁklæs/ [countable noun]

a series of lessons on a subject, often with an examination at the end :

▪ Are you enjoying the course?

▪ a schedule of the classes for the fall semester

▪ The college is offering three basic computer courses this year.

course in/on

▪ She began a 12 week course on modern art.

take a course/class also do a course


▪ She’s taking a class in art history.

▪ I’ve decided to do a course in aromatherapy.

▷ syllabus /ˈsɪləbəs/ [countable noun]

a plan that states exactly what should be taught to students who are studying a subject, especially a list of what they may be tested on in their examinations :

▪ The summer term was very short and the teacher didn’t manage to cover the whole syllabus.

▪ the first-year syllabus

be on the syllabus

be part of the syllabus

▪ We have to study algebra -- it’s on the syllabus for the course.

▷ curriculum /kəˈrɪkjɑləm/ [countable noun]

the range of subjects that has been officially chosen to be taught at a school or at all schools in a country :

▪ Are politicians the best people to be developing the educational curriculum?

▪ changes to the school curriculum

▪ We cover the curriculum by choosing things the kids will be interested in.

5. to start talking about a subject

▷ get onto /get ˈɒntu/ [transitive phrasal verb]

get onto the subject/ topic/question of

to start talking about a subject after talking about something else that is connected to it in some way :

▪ How on earth did we get onto the subject of dogs?

▪ Whenever Ma got onto that subject, my head would start to spin.

6. to talk about the subject you are supposed to be talking about

▷ get/come to the point /ˌget, ˌkʌm tə ðə ˈpɔɪnt/ [verb phrase]

to start talking about the subject you are supposed to be talking about or really want to talk about, especially after you have been talking about something else :

▪ He chatted abut the weather for a while before coming to the point.

▪ ‘We know that already,’ interrupted Steve impatiently. ‘Get to the point’.

get/come straight/right to the point

get immediately to the point

▪ She came straight to the point. ‘When do you think you’ll be able to pay me back?’

▪ Well, gentlemen, let’s get right to the point.

▷ stick to the point also keep to the point British /ˌstɪk tə ðə ˈpɔɪnt, ˌkiːp tə ðə ˈpɔɪnt/ [verb phrase]

to continue talking only about the subject you are supposed to be talking about, and not talk about things that are not connected with it :

▪ Can we try, please, to stick to the point - we don’t have much time.

▪ Mike seems to be quite incapable of keeping to the point.

▷ to the point /tə ðə ˈpɔɪnt/ [adjective phrase]

something that someone says or writes that is to the point is only about the subject they are supposed to be talking about, and not about anything else :

▪ The chairman’s speech was short and to the point.

▪ Korean newspapers only have four pages, so stories have to be very much to the point.

7. to stop talking about the subject you are supposed to be talking about

▷ get off the subject also go off the subject British /get ˌɒf ðə ˈsʌbdʒɪkt, gəʊ ˌɒf ðə ˈsʌbʒɪkt/ [verb phrase]

▪ I think we’re getting off the subject. Could we get back to the main point, please?

▪ Well, going off the subject a minute, what about that Uri Geller chap?

▷ digress /daɪˈgres/ [intransitive verb] formal

to move away from the main subject that you have been talking or writing about, especially for a short time during a speech or story :

▪ Before we do that, I’d like to digress for a minute and say a word or two about the new books.

digression /daɪˈgreʃ ə n/ [countable noun]

▪ This is a slight digression, but can I make a point here?

▷ be/get sidetracked /biː, get ˈsaɪdtrækt/ [verb phrase]

if you are talking about something and are sidetracked or get sidetracked, you allow yourself to start talking or thinking about something else, especially something less important :

▪ I was going to ask him, but he got sidetracked by this guy and I never got a chance.

▪ Don’t be sidetracked by the way the interviewer asks the questions - just keep making the relevant points.

▷ stray from /ˈstreɪ frɒm/ [transitive phrasal verb]

if you stray from the subject you are talking about, you start talking about other things instead, for example, because you cannot keep your attention on the main subject :

▪ Promise yourself that you’ll try not to stray from the issue at hand.

▪ Well, we’ve strayed quite a way from space exploration.

▷ ramble /ˈræmb ə l/ [intransitive verb]

to talk, especially for a long time, moving from one subject to another without any clear order, so that your listener becomes bored or confused :

▪ In his diary, the Unabomber rambled at length about the evils of technology.

ramble on

ramble continuously and in an annoying way

▪ I sat down and let him ramble on for a few minutes.

rambling [adjective]

▪ Without a teleprompter, his speeches are long and rambling.

▪ a rambling, 20-minute monologue

▷ lose your train of thought also lose the thread /ˌluːz jɔːʳ ˌtreɪn əv ˈθɔːt, ˌluːz ðə ˈθred/ [verb phrase]

to become confused about or forget the connection between the things you are saying, especially so that you have to stop talking and think about what you want to say next :

▪ The audience’s reaction surprised him, and he lost his train of thought for a moment.

▪ I’m sorry, I seem to have lost my thread.

lose the thread of something

▪ Arthur paused, feeling he was beginning to lose the thread of his argument.

▷ where was I? /weəʳ ˈwɒz aɪǁ-ˈwɑːz-/ spoken

say this when you want to continue what you were saying before you were interrupted, but you cannot remember what you were saying :

▪ Thanks for that, Gillian. Now, where was I?

▪ So, where was I? Oh yes, the accession of Henry the Fifth.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .