Meaning of SUBJECT in English

I. ˈsəbjə̇kt, -jēkt sometimes -ˌjekt noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, suget, subget, from Middle French, from Latin subjectus subject, inferior (from subjectus, past participle) & subjectum foundation, subject of a proposition (translation of Greek hypokeimenon ), from neuter of subjectus, past participle of subjicere, subicere to bring under, throw under, from sub- + -jicere, -icere (from jacere to throw) — more at jet

1. : one that is placed under the authority, dominion, control, or influence of someone or something: as

a. : one bound in allegiance or service to a feudal superior : vassal


(1) : one subject to a monarch or ruler and governed by his law

(2) : one who lives in the territory of, enjoys the protection of, and owes allegiance to a sovereign power or state — compare citizen 2

c. obsolete : a person under the spiritual oversight, care, or direction of a religious superior

d. obsolete : those who owe allegiance to a particular sovereign or rule : citizenry


a. obsolete : the material from which a thing is formed : material substance


(1) : that of which a quality, attribute, or relation may be affirmed or in which it may inhere : the theme of a discourse or predication : the identical reference of related thoughts : a material either physical or ideal in which differences may appear

(2) : substratum ; especially : substantive reality that is material or essential being

(3) : something that sustains or is embodied in thought or consciousness : the thinking agent : the mind, ego, or reality of whatever sort that supports or assumes the form of mental operations — distinguished from object

the individuality of the organism corresponds to, though it is not necessarily identical with, the psychological subject , while to the environment and its changes corresponds the objective continuum — James Ward

3. : something that forms a basis (as for action, study, discussion, or use): as


(1) : the underlying theme or topic of a branch of knowledge or study

the subject of mathematics is quantities and their manipulations

(2) : a branch of knowledge or study especially when arranged and formulated for teaching as an integrated part in a system of studies

each pupil took courses in five subjects including electives

found the subject of chemistry difficult

b. : reason , motive , cause

a subject of dispute

gave them no subject for complaint


(1) : one that is acted upon (as in an operation or process)

a subject of debate

the helpless subject of his cruelty

(2) : an individual whose reactions or responses are studied (as in the testing of a physiological or psychological phenomenon)

the subjects of a nutritional experiment

the subject was cued to run a maze

(3) : a dead body for anatomical study and dissection


(1) : something concerning which something is said or done : a thing or person treated of

let's say no more on that subject

treated religion as the first and greatest of subjects

the subject of your essay

a subject worthy of a great dramatist

(2) : something (as an incident, scene, figure, group) that is represented or indicated in a work of art


(1) or subject term : the term of a logical proposition that denotes what the proposition is about ; also : matter denoted by such a term : the topic of an affirmation or denial — contrasted with predicate

(2) : a word or word group denoting that of which something is affirmed or predicated : a term that is construed with or without modifiers as the nominative of a verb and is grammatically either a noun or a word, phrase, or clause used as a noun equivalent


(1) : the principal theme or melodic phrase on which a musical composition or movement is based

(2) : the antecedent or dux of a contrapuntal work (as a fugue or canon)

g. : a plant having particular horticultural qualities or suitable for a definite site or effect

make good hedge subjects

a difficult subject only suitable for the expert with fully equipped greenhouse

Synonyms: see citizen

II. adjective

Etymology: Middle English suget, subget, from Middle French, from Latin subjectus, past participle

1. : falling under or submitting to the power or dominion of another

children subject to their parents


a. : owing allegiance to or being a subject of a particular sovereign or state

a colony is subject to the mother country

a subject race

b. : subjected

c. : obedient , submissive

be subject to the laws


a. : suffering a particular liability or exposure

subject to very severe draughts

subject to temptation

b. : prone , disposed

very subject to colds

3. archaic : situated under or below : subjacent

4. : likely to be conditioned, affected, or modified in some indicated way : having a contingent relation to something and usually dependent on such relation for final form, validity, or significance

democratic representatives whose acts are subject to discussion and criticism — M.R.Cohen

a treaty subject to ratification

Synonyms: see liable

III. səbˈjekt sometimes |səb|jekt verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English subjecten, from Latin subjectare to put under, freq. of subjicere, subicere to bring under — more at subject (n.)

transitive verb


a. : to bring under control or dominion : subjugate

subjecting primitive peoples to colonial rule

b. : to reduce to subservience or submission : make (as oneself) amenable to the discipline and control of a superior

a servant should subject himself to his master


a. : to make liable : predispose

his conduct subjected him to needless suffering

b. : to make accountable : submit

refused to subject himself to their judgment

c. : to make (a piece of commercial paper) subject to discount

3. obsolete : to cause to lie beneath or below

4. : to cause to undergo or submit to : make submit to a particular action or effect : expose

hated to subject his wife to such company

unwilling to subject himself to any inconvenience

intransitive verb

obsolete : to be or become subject

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.