Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “subject”

See all translations

subject

noun [C] uk   /ˈsʌb.dʒekt/ us  

subject noun [C] (AREA OF DISCUSSION)

B1 the thing that is being discussed, considered, or studied: Our subject for discussion is homelessness. She has made a series of documentaries on the subject of family relationships. The guest lecturer took as her subject (= decided to speak about) "punishment and imprisonment in modern society". The number of planes flying over the town has been the subject of (= has caused) concern since last summer.
More examples

subject noun [C] (AREA OF STUDY)

A1 an area of knowledge that is studied in school, college, or university: My favourite subjects at school were history and geography. mainly UK Her subject (= special area of study) is low-temperature physics.change the subject B2 to start talking about a different subject: I'd tried to explain the situation, but he just changed the subject.

subject noun [C] (STORY/PAINTING)

C2 a person, thing, or situation that is written about in a book, article, etc. or shown in a picture, etc.: The mill by the bridge was the subject of an unfinished painting by J. M. W. Turner.

subject noun [C] (GRAMMAR)

B1 specialized language the person or thing that performs the action of a verb, or is joined to a description by a verb: "Bob" is the subject of the sentence "Bob threw the ball."
Compare
More examples

subject noun [C] (PERSON)

a person who lives in or who has the right to live in a particular country, especially a country with a king or queen: He is a British subject.
Compare
Grammar

subject

verb [T] uk   /səbˈdʒekt/ us  
to defeat people or a country and then control them against their wishes and limit their freedom: The invaders quickly subjected the local tribes.
Phrasal verbs

subject

adjective uk   /ˈsʌb.dʒekt/ us  

subject adjective (HAVING)

be subject to sth C1 to have or experience a particular thing, especially something unpleasant: Cars are subject to a high domestic tax. In recent years, she has been subject to attacks of depression.

subject adjective (DEPEND)

subject to sth C2 only able to happen if something else happens: We plan to go on Wednesday, subject to your approval. Moving all the books should not take long, subject to there being (= if there are) enough helpers.

subject adjective (GOVERN)

[before noun] under the political control of another country or state: subject peoples/states
(Definition of subject from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of subject?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “subject” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

pot luck

anything that is available or is found by chance, rather than something chosen, planned, or prepared

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More