Definition of subtext in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsʌbtɛkst/


An underlying and often distinct theme in a piece of writing or conversation: in any biography the relationship of author to subject forms a haunting subtext
More example sentences
  • The question then becomes, how do we read a work of fiction one of whose subtexts is the events of '48 and its consequences?
  • This system forms the subtext of the protagonist's behavior and encodes it as text.
  • The book is full of different subtexts and themes, all of which try to explain why a man so adored by the French culinary world would take his own life.



Example sentences
  • The story's muddled incoherence is not a sign of deeper subtextual meaning.
  • This isn't reading too much into a simple monster movie; Ginger Snaps is self-consciously working its sub-textual layers.
  • It also takes awhile to really get attached to the characters, perhaps because so much of the character development is subtextual rather than textual.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sub|text

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.