Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

subculture

play
noun sub·cul·ture \ˈsəb-ˌkəl-chər\

Simple Definition of subculture

  • : a group that has beliefs and behaviors that are different from the main groups within a culture or society

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of subculture

  1. 1a :  a culture (as of bacteria) derived from another cultureb :  an act or instance of producing a subculture

  2. 2 :  an ethnic, regional, economic, or social group exhibiting characteristic patterns of behavior sufficient to distinguish it from others within an embracing culture or society <a criminal subculture>

subcultural

play \-ˈkəlch-rəl, -ˈkəl-chə-\ adjective

subculturally

adverb

subculture

transitive verb

Examples of subculture in a sentence

  1. a subculture of local painters

  2. a subculture of poverty and crime



Did You Know?

This common meaning of subculture (it has an older biological meaning) only appeared in the 1930s, and for about 20 years it was used mostly by sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists. But in the 1950s, as America's wealth led to more and more teenagers getting their own cars and thus their independence, not to mention the arrival of rock 'n' roll, people noticed something unusual happening among young people, and began to speak of the "youth subculture". As the country's wealth and freedom of movement continued to increase, we realized that the U.S. had become home to a large number of subcultures. Today the Web makes possible more than anyone could have dreamed of back in the 1950s. When we happen to stumble on a subculture—bodybuilders, Trekkies, hackers, Airstreamers, anime lovers, motocross enthusiasts—we may realize with astonishment that we had never even imagined that it might exist.

1886

First Known Use of subculture

1886


Medical Dictionary

1

subculture

play
noun sub·cul·ture \ˈsəb-ˌkəl-chər\

Medical Definition of subculture

  1. 1:  a culture (as of bacteria) derived from another culture

  2. 2:  an act or instance of producing a subculture

subcultural

\-ˈkəlch-(ə-)rəl\play adjective

subculturally

\-ē\play adverb



2

subculture

transitive verb sub·cul·ture

Medical Definition of subculture

subcultured

;

subculturing

  1. :  to culture (as bacteria) anew on a fresh medium by inoculation from an older culture





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up subculture? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a very small amount

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accomodate acommodate acommadate accommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ