Dictionary

subdue

subdue

transitive verb sub·due \səb-ˈdü, -ˈdyü\

: to get control of (a violent or dangerous person or group) by using force, punishment, etc.

: to get control of (something, such as a strong emotion)

sub·duedsub·du·ing

Full Definition of SUBDUE

1
:  to conquer and bring into subjection :  vanquish
2
:  to bring under control especially by an exertion of the will :  curb <subdued my foolish fears>
3
:  to bring (land) under cultivation
4
:  to reduce the intensity or degree of :  tone down
sub·du·er noun

Examples of SUBDUE

  1. The troops were finally able to subdue the rebel forces after many days of fighting.
  2. He was injured while trying to subdue a violent drunk.
  3. She struggled to subdue her fears.

Origin of SUBDUE

Middle English sodewen, subduen, from Anglo-French soduire, subdure to lead astray, overcome, arrest (influenced in form and meaning by Latin subdere to subject), from Latin subducere to withdraw, remove stealthily
First Known Use: 14th century

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: subduedPrevious Word in the Dictionary: subductionAll Words Near: subdue
February 28, 2015
pontificate Hear it
To speak pompously or dogmatically
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears