Definition for SUB'JECT

SUB'JECT, n. [L. subjectus; Fr. sujet; It. suggetto.]

  1. One that owes allegiance to a sovereign, and is governed by his laws. The natives of Great Britain are subjects of the British government. The natives of the United States, and naturalized foreigners, are subjects of the federal government. Men in free governments are subjects as well a citizens; as citizens, they enjoy rights and franchises; a subjects, they are bound to obey the laws. The subject must obey his prince, because God commands it, and human laws require it. – Swift.
  2. That on which any mental operation is performed; that which is treated or handled; as, a subject of discussion before the legislature; a subject of negotiation. This subject for heroic song pleas'd me. – Milton. The subject of a proposition is that concerning which any thing is affirmed or denied. – Watts.
  3. That on which any physical operation is performed; a subject for dissection or amputation.
  4. That in which any thing inheres or exists. Anger is certainly a kind of baseness, as it appears well in the weakness of those subjects in whom it reigns. – Bacon.
  5. The person who is treated of; the hero of a piece. Authors of biography are apt to be prejudiced in favor their subject. – Middleton.
  6. In grammar, the nominative case to a verb passive.
  7. In music, the principal melody or theme of a movement.

Return to page 300 of the letter “S”.