Definition of subscribe in English:



  • 1no object Arrange to receive something, typically a publication, regularly by paying in advance.

    ‘subscribe to the magazine for twelve months and receive a free limited-edition T-shirt’
    • ‘The reason that I continue to subscribe is that your publication is very in-depth and truly interesting.’
    • ‘He'd get members of the family to subscribe and they'd send him £1 for the next two copies.’
    • ‘The American Journal of Public Health was the publication to which the most libraries subscribed.’
    • ‘I'd encourage you to subscribe and help support the publication; it's one of the few not owned by some media giant, and it has had some financial trouble lately.’
    • ‘‘People that subscribe to sites like these create a market and while people continue to subscribe, these sites will continue to flourish,’ he said.’
    • ‘Send in the subscriber card or go to to subscribe now.’
    • ‘If you do not regularly receive The Lutheran, I encourage you to subscribe.’
    • ‘This is a great publication and I highly recommend subscribing.’
    • ‘If you really want to read the article, and don't have a subscription, you might be able to find a public library in a big city that subscribes.’
    • ‘Everyone I showed your magazine to wants to subscribe.’
    • ‘Anyone who subscribes now will receive 2003's two issues for the price of one.’
    • ‘Even before he could read, Cornforth's ‘eye’ was being formed by the illustrations in bound volumes of Country Life, to which his grandfather had subscribed.’
    • ‘Dr Jones says that it is important to subscribe, as the publications are a definitive source of information on all aspects of perioperative services from individuals with knowledge and experience.’
    • ‘Once someone subscribes, send him or her a welcome message immediately.’
    • ‘We'll start sending out email alerts in a few weeks so subscribe if you'd like a little nudge from us every day or so.’
    • ‘I became curious about More after I received an invitation to subscribe, but it took five trips to drug, grocery and book stores before I located a copy.’
    • ‘Dr Reeder believes health care personnel should subscribe because these are the publications for perioperative nurses.’
    • ‘I added a subscription service, so that people can subscribe and receive new posts by email, instead of having to come to the site to check.’
    • ‘Ask your librarian to subscribe, or contact us and we'll send the full review.’
    • ‘Once someone has subscribed or re-subscribed to an ACP magazine, they are sent this $10 voucher.’
    pay a subscription, buy regularly, take, take regularly, read, read regularly, contract to buy
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    1. 1.1 Arrange for access to an electronic mailing list or online service.
      ‘some 40,000 users have subscribed to the service’
      • ‘All interested employees are encouraged to subscribe to the list server; a link to subscribe is provided on the LCCEP Web site.’
      • ‘In fact, after they subscribe and use the service for a while, e-mail is the most popular application among customers.’
      • ‘So after you have subscribed online, make sure you pass along the word to others via word of mouth or a blog post.’
      • ‘Visit the Web site to subscribe on-line to the print or Web version.’
      • ‘Arguably, it should, but what we find is that whereas say in the United Kingdom and indeed most of the European Union states, there is an organization like ours to which most of the country's Internet service providers are subscribing.’
    2. 1.2British Contribute or undertake to contribute a certain sum of money to a fund, project, or cause, typically on a regular basis.
      ‘he is one of the millions who subscribe to the NSPCC’
      with object ‘he subscribed £400 to the campaign’
      • ‘It is no accident that the final chapter takes us from Belgrade to Bosnia, the main victim of the Greater Serb project, to which many of Seierstad's subjects subscribed.’
      • ‘They are also running their annual Radiothon at the moment, which is the key fundraising event for the station, so if you want to donate or even subscribe, now is the time to do it (cos you can win prizes and stuff).’
      • ‘To the extent that a bank defaults the remaining banks therefore undertake to subscribe or purchase themselves in proportion to their commitments.’
      • ‘Municipal Committees, Indians abroad and Gurudwara Committees subscribed liberally to the INA funds.’
      • ‘In addition interest paid on any funds borrowed and used to subscribe under this Prospectus may also be deductible.’
      • ‘When Muslims find that government is providing financial assistance to these madrasahs, they will stop contributing or subscribing.’
      • ‘They were able to convince a group of wealthy Canadians to subscribe or loan money to their company to produce the film, using the facilities of the OMPB at Trenton.’
      • ‘They want more money to let consumers put subscription songs on a portable device - they believe, rightly or not, that customers who subscribe will spend less money buying music.’
      • ‘Anybody who has not subscribed and still wishes to do so can hand their contributions to any committee member.’
      • ‘The local community agreed to subscribe 10 euro per month for three years for the project.’
      • ‘A large quantity of goods-turf, timber, hay, straw, produce etc was donated and thanks is extended to all who subscribed.’
      • ‘Well, in that scenario, the guy is being a cheapskate by not subscribing and shelling out the cash to be able to make an e-mail response.’
      • ‘But he gave in friendship and, in turn, inspired immense affection among his friends, who subscribed over half a million pounds in today's money to build a room in his memory at Churchill College Cambridge.’
      • ‘Irda has recommended a regulatory framework for setting up pension funds to enable individuals to subscribe on a defined contribution basis to obtain the benefit of pensions on their retirement.’
      • ‘At a recent meeting of the club, a number of members pledged to subscribe €100 each to invest in this project.’
      donate, make a donation, make a subscription, give, give money, make a contribution, pay, pledge
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    3. 1.3with object Apply to participate in.
      ‘the course has been fully subscribed’
      • ‘Tetsuya doesn't open on Saturday night, he takes bookings no more than six weeks ahead and is fully subscribed almost at once.’
      • ‘This new round has been fully subscribed and the organisers wish to sincerely thank all who have participated.’
      • ‘Within weeks of forms going out, the event - run in association with the Yorkshire Professional Golfers' Association - was fully subscribed.’
      • ‘With just 40 places in the race Ms King reckoned it wouldn't be long till the race was fully subscribed.’
      • ‘Meanwhile applications for the Four Villages Half Marathon at Helsby near Chester on Sunday January 18 have closed as the race is fully subscribed.’
    4. 1.4 Apply for or undertake to pay for an issue of shares.
      ‘they subscribed to the July rights issue at 300p a share’
      with object ‘the issue was fully subscribed’
      • ‘First, they will have to subscribe for further shares to raise money.’
      • ‘Members must apply by Tuesday if they wish to subscribe for additional shares.’
      • ‘About 89.3 per cent of existing Hutchison shareholders exercised their options to subscribe for HTIL preference shares.’
      • ‘There are already investors, mainly Greek companies, willing to subscribe for shares of the new issue.’
      • ‘And remaining small shareholders are being offered the opportunity to subscribe for shares in the company again, at a discount of 20 per cent to the Davy valuation.’
    5. 1.5with object (of a bookseller) agree before publication to take (a certain number of copies of a book)
      ‘most of the first print run of 15,000 copies has been subscribed’
      • ‘The Library Company had a beautiful 1795 edition, showing that Allen and Jones had indeed subscribed for a copy of Josephus and were probably familiar with it before securing the book!’
      • ‘Most of these began as fully subscribed publications, that is, they were published using the proceeds of prepaid subscriptions gathered to underwrite the substantial publishing costs.’
      • ‘We had to explain the publish and subscribe model.’
      • ‘The book was subscribed in NW England, Yorkshire, and London, five shillings to subscribers.’
      • ‘The issue is to be subscribed through the book building route.’
  • 2subscribe tono object Express or feel agreement with (an idea or proposal)

    ‘we prefer to subscribe to an alternative explanation’
    • ‘McGrath also subscribes to the idea that good International Rules players ideally consists of the same qualities as a good Gaelic footballer.’
    • ‘Here he shows that subscribing to Rock'n'Roll values commands respect, as it can teach honesty by example.’
    • ‘I don't like subscribing to what it represents.’
    • ‘The 40 women in her study subscribed to the idea that housework was women's work.’
    • ‘I'm one of those people who subscribes to the idea that sex as a commodity influences people's attitudes towards each other in a very disappointing way.’
    • ‘In a world where anything and everything is a commodity, one has to maintain one's ground to resist subscribing to the demands of total loyalty.’
    • ‘Or maybe he subscribes to the postmodern idea that truth is a social construct.’
    • ‘Some of us have other reasons for subscribing to the cosmetic myth.’
    • ‘Well, we know that it's a crew of five that subscribes to the proposition that all that glitters is not sold.’
    • ‘Other inhabitants are Scheduled Caste Hindus subscribing to a faith which is a happy blend of Islam and tribal Hinduism.’
    • ‘Not all Wiccans necessarily subscribe to all these ideas, and this is certainly not all there is to Wicca.’
    • ‘Now I am of the school that, on the whole, subscribes to the idea that there is a right way and a wrong way to do something.’
    • ‘Not everyone subscribes to the idea that an eschatological dimension belongs intrinsically to Christianity.’
    • ‘The popular press subscribes to the notion that a revolution in educational technology is well underway.’
    • ‘Although he subscribes to many of the economic ideas of the New Right, it is clear that he is uncomfortable with rampant self-interest.’
    • ‘Yet he is also right to say that the support for moral values is wider than subscribing to conservatism.’
    • ‘I mentioned earlier that the city subscribes to the idea of sustainable development.’
    • ‘Technorati subscribes to the idea that markets are conversations.’
    • ‘My mother and father both subscribed to the idea that children, no matter how young they were, should not be spared from the reality of the situation.’
    • ‘Do we or ought we subscribe to the idea that if it can be done it should be done?’
    agree with, be in agreement with, accede to, consent to, accept, believe in, endorse, back, support, advocate, champion
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  • 3formal with object Sign (a will, contract, or other document)

    ‘he subscribed the will as a witness’
    • ‘If you will subscribe the oath then I will attest your signature.’
    • ‘On the other hand, the charta, subscribed by witnesses, could guarantee the legal validity of its contents and its probatory value.’
    • ‘And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances.’
    • ‘But the loss of the archives rules out further enquiries, and makes it impossible to estimate how representable was the high level of literacy shown by the laymen who subscribed the private charters in Salerno.’
    sign, write, inscribe, initial, autograph, countersign, witness, put one's mark on
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    1. 3.1 Sign (one's name) on a will, contract, or other document.
      ‘he was ordered to subscribe his name’
      • ‘In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Codd, the 11th of November in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth and of Scotland the fifty fourth.’
      • ‘In sure confidence that God will defend the right we hereto subscribe our names.’
      sign, write, inscribe, initial, autograph, countersign, witness, put one's mark on
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    2. 3.2subscribe oneselfarchaic with complement Sign oneself as.
      ‘he ventured still to subscribe himself her most obedient servant’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘sign at the bottom of a document’): from Latin subscribere, from sub- ‘under’ + scribere ‘write’.