The subject is, according to a tradition that can be traced back to Aristotle, one of the two main constituents of a clause, the other constituent being the predicate, whereby the predicate says something about the subject. According to a tradition associated with predicate logic and dependency grammars, the subject is the most prominent overt argument of the predicate. By this position all languages with arguments have subjects, though there is no way to define this consistently for all languages. From a functional perspective, a subject is a phrase that conflates nominative case with the topic. Many languages do not do this, and so do not have subjects.

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  1. In a clause: the word or word group (usually a noun phrase) that is dealt with. In active clauses with verbs denoting an action, the subject and the actor are usually the same.
  2. The main topic of a paper, work of art, discussion, field of study, etc.
  3. A particular area of study.
  4. A citizen in a monarchy.
  5. A person ruled over by another, especially a monarch or state authority.
  6. The main theme or melody, especially in a fugue.
  7. A human, animal or an inanimate object that is being examined, treated, analysed, etc.


  1. To cause (someone or something) to undergo a particular experience, especially one that is unpleasant or unwanted.


  1. Likely to be affected by or to experience something.
    a country subject to extreme heat
  2. Conditional upon.
  3. Placed or situated under; lying below, or in a lower situation.
  4. Placed under the power of another; owing allegiance to a particular sovereign or state.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: subject
and as such is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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