A subtitle can either be the second, explanatory, part of a longer title, or the words that appear at the bottom of a movie screen to translate dialogue that’s spoken in a foreign language.

If you’ve got hearing loss, you might watch TV with the subtitles on, so that you can read the dialogue as it’s spoken. And when a foreign film is shown in the U.S., it usually has English subtitles. The subtitle of a book, on the other hand, comes after (or under) its main title. You might call your memoirs “My Story,” with the subtitle “An Incredible Life.” The prefix sub-, fittingly, means “under.”

Definitions of subtitle
  1. noun

    secondary or explanatory title

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    type of:


    a general or descriptive heading for a section of a written work

  2. noun

    translation of foreign dialogue of a movie or TV program; usually displayed at the bottom of the screen

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    type of:

    interlingual rendition, rendering, translation, version

    a written communication in a second language having the same meaning as the written communication in a first language

  3. verb

    supply (a movie) with subtitles

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    type of:

    furnish, provide, render, supply

    give something useful or necessary to

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