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Definition of "subtext" [subtext]

  • The implicit meaning or theme of a literary text. (noun)
  • The underlying personality of a dramatic character as implied or indicated by a script or text and interpreted by an actor in performance. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "subtext" in a sentence
  • "I read that as a clear statement that she still holds to her transphobic views – and the subtext is as obnoxious as it is heavy-handed and unoriginal."
  • "No, no, Andy, the subtext is the moral ambiguity of the right who shut down social programs to feed the poor while sanctioning school children to pray for them."
  • "This subtext is also interesting considering how Barry's later opera, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, raises these issues again when dealing with the subject matter of Fassbinder's film and its all female cast."