Meaning of SUBJECTIVE in English


I. (ˌ)səbˈjektiv, -tēv also -təv adjective

Etymology: Middle English, relating to submissiveness, from Medieval Latin subjectivus, from Latin subjectus, (past participle of subjicere, subicere to bring under) + -ivus -ive

1. : of, relating to, or constituting a subject: as

a. obsolete : of, relating to, or characteristic of one that is subject especially in lack of freedom of action or in submissiveness


[Late Latin subjectivus, from Latin subjectum subject of a proposition + -ivus -ive — more at subject ]

: being or relating to a grammatical subject ; specifically : nominative


a. : of or belonging to the real or essential being of that which supports qualities, attributes, or relations : substantial , real — compare objective 1b(1)


(1) Kantianism : of, relating to, or determined by the mind, ego, or consciousness as the subject of experience and knowledge

subjective reality

(2) : characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived or known as opposed to reality as it is in itself or independent of mind : phenomenal — compare objective 1b(2)

c. : of, relating to, or being whatever in experience or knowledge is conditioned by merely personal characteristics of mind or by particular states of mind as opposed to what is determined only by the universal conditions of human experience and knowledge — compare objective 1b(3)

3. : arising from within or belonging strictly to the individual often as contrasted with something modified by the physical or social environment or by the presence of an interpreter: as

a. : peculiar to a particular individual modified by individual bias and limitations : personal

a subjective impression

subjective judgments

b. : arising from conditions within the brain or sense organs and not directly caused by external stimuli

subjective sensations

c. : placing undue stress on one's opinions, fancies, or moods : excessively or moodily introspective

d. : arising out of or identified by means of an individual's attention to or awareness of his own states and processes

a subjective symptom of disease

a subjective study of fatigue

e. : lacking in reality or substance : existing in the mind alone : illusory , fanciful


(1) : making prominent the individuality of a writer or an artist

(2) : modified or affected by the personal views, mental and emotional background, or other special characteristics of the artist

a subjective painting

subjective writers

• sub·jec·tive·ly -tə̇vlē, -li adverb

• sub·jec·tive·ness -tivnə̇s, -tēv- also -təv- noun -es

II. noun

( -s )

1. : something that is subjective

the overemphasis of the individual and the subjective in modern philosophy — John Dewey

2. : nominative

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