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1. An implicit meaning or theme of a literary text.
2. The underlying personality of a dramatic character as implied or indicated by a script or text and interpreted by an actor in performance.

sub·tex·tu·al (-tĕks′cho͞o-əl) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) relating to a subtext
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) having an underlying or implied meaning
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
She never suffocates the reader with screams of warning, however, but delivers a subtextual appeal to humanity to simply do better, whether in neighborhoods, the environment, or perception and appreciation.
Although the subtextual homoeroticism is palpable, it's resolved via platonic or filial relationships, with one notable exception: Charlotte Honigman's World War II revenge tale, where the heroine is helped by her lady love.
This has important, if subtextual, implications for a historical moment marked by mass indifference toward the fate of the nonhuman world: if sheep can be theatrical-poetic subjects, they should also be subjects that warrant the human emotional investment that tragedy invokes.
Kristofer Upjohn celebrates Jess Franco in a collection of essays that examines his individual movies for the first time not just an artistic perspective but also with a subtextual psychological analysis as well from Count Dracula and Jack the Ripper, all the way to The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein and Countess Perverse.
He's never been particularly plotty, thank goodness, but this story entails reversals and twists that demand structural and subtextual craftiness -- Hitchcockian turns and feints -- that play second fiddle to mood, tone and extravagant expressive pictorialism.
Chapter 10 puts forward the hypothesis that inspired writing will differ from uninspired in the density of its subtextual and prosodie clashes, and that the clashes themselves will be indicative of the presence of inspiration (274).
Perhaps that is why climate change is a common theme across a broad range of movies this year, either as an obvious baddie or a subtextual spectre.
Only adding to the subtextual complexities, Appelbaum was then the subject of ( sexual assault allegations himself in 2016, including by someone ( Poitras claimed was a friend 6 and Risk feels obliged to dwell upon these contentions.
The readers need to be alert for subtextual implications of the utterances: When Corinne, for instance, comments that Richard is being strangely "solicitous", Richard replies that the word reminds him of the verb "solicit" (The Country 349).
To paraphrase graphic novelist Alan Moore's maxim to its logical conclusion, "Human life as we experience it is a simultaneous multiplicity of genres and fears." One could be talking about Vance Packard's The Hidden Persuaders: What Makes Us Buy, Believe--and Even Vote--the Way We Do?, a 1957 guide to subtextual scare tactics used to sell everything from the latest auto to autocrat.
I can offer no better summary of (or commentary on) the book's fourth and final chapter than Heffernan himself: "By exposing the overlooked subtextual strata that work to put forward the figuration of Caesar as godly-demonic lion, I hope to liberate Julius Caesar from its exegetic capture as Plutarchian forensic-battlefield psychodrama" (156, emphasis in original).