Definition of subjective in English:



  • 1Based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

    ‘his views are highly subjective’
    Contrasted with objective
    ‘there is always the danger of making a subjective judgement’
    • ‘Even the Cabinet Office's own research shows that this is discriminatory, because it is based on subjective judgements carried out by managers.’
    • ‘Over a period of years a sympathetic observer notices marked changes, although such personal reflections are notoriously subjective.’
    • ‘Instead, participants used rating scales that assessed their own subjective perception of conflict in their friendship relationships.’
    • ‘Ultimately loss and gain I suppose are ultimately subjective, because each reader that reads a poem will have a different reaction to it.’
    • ‘Best is a subjective judgement, my taste against yours.’
    • ‘I no longer trust my own subjective impressions, or those of other linguists, no matter how reputable.’
    • ‘The farther to the right the writing slants the more subjective the person is.’
    • ‘The value of the items on each side of the sheet are dependent upon individual subjective valuations.’
    • ‘The accuracy score for the medium is completely dependent on the subjective decisions of the sitter.’
    • ‘Essays will be scored on a six-point scale for such subjective elements as voice, style, flow, and deployment of the language.’
    • ‘It is not to be judged by the quality of the reasons advanced in support of it in the course of Parliamentary debate, nor by the subjective state of mind of individual ministers or other members.’
    • ‘Although a relatively objective metalanguage can be devised to describe and discuss poetry, individual response to it is necessarily subjective.’
    • ‘Editorial comment is the subjective view of one person, and as such not expected to be ‘balanced’ to the extent of pleasing all shades.’
    • ‘Admissions decisions are subjective because they are based on human beings that inherently possess a great deal of variability.’
    • ‘I remain surprised by how subjective this stuff seems to be.’
    • ‘There is no pretense of objectivity; this is a subjective film, a personal film.’
    • ‘Whether it is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ could be a very subjective matter of opinion.’
    • ‘Of course, as my grown-up child who is obviously no longer a child pointed out, it is important to understand other people's subjective experience.’
    • ‘Whatever else it may be, authority is a subjective disposition in people to regard something else as a reliable guide in thinking and doing.’
    • ‘Where this minimum lies, however, is based on management's subjective judgment.’
    personal, personalized, individual, internal, emotional, instinctive, intuitive, impressionistic
    biased, prejudiced, bigoted, idiosyncratic, irrational
    gut, gut reaction
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Dependent on the mind or on an individual's perception for its existence.
      • ‘The scientific literature has noted some gender differences in both subjective and objective responses to cocaine.’
      • ‘You can follow the software instructions to adjust your computer screen controls manually, but as you can guess, human perception is usually subjective.’
      • ‘Things are even more difficult when probabilities are subjective and individual beliefs may differ.’
      • ‘It's an alternative view of the individual's subjective reality.’
      • ‘Maternal evaluations may reflect subjective perceptions rather than the child's actual behavior.’
      • ‘In concrete terms it poses difficulties - because it also makes Theism subjective.’
      • ‘As Beckett dramatizes, the ultimate reality of the subjective mind is beyond the spatio-temporal limits of logical meaning.’
      • ‘That is, reported differences in perceived stress may be due to differences in subjective perceptions or in differences in the amount of objective stressors.’
      • ‘There is a difference between my existence and the existence of a chair, which is that my existence has this subjective side - or, as you might say, inside.’
      • ‘Drama is a genre which is heavily oriented to the first person present, a narrative form associated with subjective experience and inner feelings.’
      • ‘How do physical processes in the brain give rise to the subjective life the conscious mind?’
      • ‘Milan's inner world is one that mixes hallucination with reality, subjective reverie with objective perception.’
      • ‘Intentions are influenced by attitudes toward the behavior, subjective norms and perceptions of behavioral control.’
      • ‘One of the few good ideas about consciousness that has gained some measure of agreement is that subjective feelings depend very much on the kind of body you have.’
      • ‘Consciousness is commensurate with being; all existence has a subjective aspect.’
      • ‘In this sense their condition is epistemologically objective but ontologically subjective.’
      • ‘Consciousness is about first-person, subjective experience, and there's a fundamental gap there.’
      • ‘The basic mechanism is subsequently extended by an abductive reasoning system which is guided by subjective probability.’
      • ‘There is nothing subjective about perceptual experience.’
      • ‘A lot of magic and NLP plays in this area of the individual's subjective experience.’
  • 2Grammar
    Relating to or denoting a case of nouns and pronouns used for the subject of a sentence.

    • ‘The genitive would function syntactically as subjective genitive with the transactional term o-pa.’


  • The subjective case.


Late Middle English (originally in the sense ‘characteristic of a political subject, submissive’): from Latin subjectivus, from subject- brought under (see subject).