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Definitions of Subject

  1. (noun) The object, typically an individual or group observed in an experiment or social scene.
  2. (noun) A specialized field of knowledge.
  3. (noun) What is being acted upon, discussed, or studied.

Examples of Subject

Subject Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˈsəbdʒək(t)/
    • British English
      • /ˈsʌbdʒᵻkt/
      • /ˈsʌbdʒɛkt/
  • Syllabification: (sub·ject)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: subjects
  • The term subject is often used interchangeably with individual or person in sociological writing, particularly theory.

Related Quotations

Additional Information

Related Terms


Kendall, Diana. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Giddens, Anthony. 1991. The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Spradley, James P., and David W. McCurdy. 2008. Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology. 13th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

Cite the Definition of Subject

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “subject.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 13, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/subject/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

subject. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/subject/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “subject.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 13, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/subject/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“subject.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 13 Oct. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/subject/>.