Simple Definition of subjugate
: to defeat and gain control of (someone or something) by the use of force : to conquer and gain the obedience of (a group of people, a country, etc.)
Examples of subjugate in a sentence
The emperor's armies subjugated the surrounding lands.
a people subjugated by invaders
Did You Know?
Since jugus means "yoke" in Latin, subjugate means literally "bring under the yoke". Farmers control oxen by means of a heavy wooden yoke over their shoulders. In ancient Rome, conquered soldiers, stripped of their uniforms, might actually be forced to pass under an ox yoke as a sign of submission to the Roman victors. Even without an actual yoke, what happens to a population that has come under the control of another can be every bit as humiliating. In dozens of countries throughout the world, ethnic minorities are denied basic rights and view themselves as subjugated by their country's government, army, and police.
Origin and Etymology of subjugate
Middle English, from Latin subjugatus, past participle of subjugare, from sub- + jugum yoke — more at yoke
First Known Use: 15th century
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