1. That which is placed under the authority, dominion, control, or influence of something else.
2. Specifically: One who is under the authority of a ruler and is governed by his laws; one who owes allegiance to a sovereign or a sovereign state; as, a subject of Queen Victoria; a British subject; a subject of the United States.
"Was never subject longed to be a king, As I do long and wish to be a subject." -- Shak.
"The subject must obey his prince, because God commands it, human laws require it." -- Swift.
In international law, the term subject is convertible with citizen.
3. That which is subjected, or submitted to, any physical operation or process; specifically (Anat.), a dead body used for the purpose of dissection.
4. That which is brought under thought or examination; that which is taken up for discussion, or concerning which anything is said or done. "This subject for heroic song." Milton.
"Make choice of a subject, beautiful and noble, which . . . shall afford an ample field of matter wherein to expatiate." -- Dryden.
"The unhappy subject of these quarrels." -- Shak.
5. The person who is treated of; the hero of a piece; the chief character.
"Writers of particular lives . . . are apt to be prejudiced in favor of their subject." -- C. Middleton.
6. (Logic & Gram.) That of which anything is affirmed or predicated; the theme of a proposition or discourse; that which is spoken of; as, the nominative case is the subject of the verb.
"The subject of a proposition is that concerning which anything is affirmed or denied." -- I. Watts.
7. That in which any quality, attribute, or relation, whether spiritual or material, inheres, or to which any of these appertain; substance; substratum.
"That which manifests its qualities -- in other words, that in which the appearing causes inhere, that to which they belong - - is called their subject or substance, or substratum." -- Sir W. Hamilton.
8. Hence, that substance or being which is conscious of its own operations; the mind; the thinking agent or principal; the ego. Cf. Object, n., 2.
"The philosophers of mind have, in a manner, usurped and appropriated this expression to themselves. Accordingly, in their hands, the phrases conscious or thinking subject, and subject, mean precisely the same thing." -- Sir W. Hamilton.
9. (Mus.) The principal theme, or leading thought or phrase, on which a composition or a movement is based.
"The earliest known form of subject is the ecclesiastical cantus firmus, or plain song." -- Rockstro.
10. (Fine Arts) The incident, scene, figure, group, etc., which it is the aim of the artist to represent.