subject - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. 1
    an idea, problem, situation etc that you discuss or write about

    Can we talk about a different subject please?

    subject of:

    He’s never mentioned the subject of money.

    The subject of our debate today will be the environment.

    bring up a subject (=deliberately start talking about a subject):

    It was Carol who brought up the subject of sports facilities.

    get onto a subject (=start talking about a subject without planning to):

    Somehow we got onto the subject of education.

    drop a subject (=deliberately stop talking about a subject):

    Look, I don’t want to talk about it, so can we drop the subject?

    get off the subject (=stop talking about something because you have become interested in something else):

    We’re getting off the subject here – let’s get back to your book.

    change the subject (=deliberately start talking about something else to avoid an argument or embarrassing situation):

    Can we change the subject, please?

  2. 3
    linguistics in active clauses, the part of a clause referring to the person or thing that does or causes the action of a verb. In English, the subject is usually a noun group or pronoun, and comes before the verb. For example in the sentence ‘Some children enjoy writing stories’, the subject is ‘some children’.
  3. 5
    a person or thing that is shown in a photograph, painting, or piece of art
    1. a.
      someone who is written about in a book or article
  4. 6
    someone who lives in a country that is controlled by a king or queen

    a British subject