sub·​cul·​ture | \ ˈsəb-ˌkəl-chər How to pronounce subculture (audio) \

Definition of subculture

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

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Other Words from subculture

subcultural \ ˌsəb-​ˈkəlch-​rəl How to pronounce subculture (audio) , -​ˈkəl-​chə-​ \ adjective
subculturally adverb
subculture transitive verb

Examples of subculture in a Sentence

a subculture of local painters a subculture of poverty and crime
Recent Examples on the Web Strong winds and the right swells can bring waves of up to 10 feet to its shores, and those conditions have created an unexpected subculture of Great Lakes surfers. Stephanie Vermillion, Outside Online, 14 Mar. 2022 There’s a growing subculture of people who have set their sights on completing outdoor running and hiking feats and breaking arcane records in the process. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 10 Mar. 2022 Etymologists have been unable to track the positive sense of wicked to a particular subculture. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Mar. 2022 Subsequently a subculture has grown up around the play. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Feb. 2022 Patricia, Julia’s older sister, smart and chic, who is ready to take advantage of the booming property values, to move the house at a profit, and leave behind the neighborhood that once nurtured an Hispanic subculture. Bo Emerson, ajc, 25 Jan. 2022 No wonder companies built around giving users ways to broadcast their identity and social status are eager to give an extremely fast-growing, wealthy and influential subculture a new way to do that. Washington Post, 22 Jan. 2022 Seifert is a digital artist and also a member of the furry fandom, the subculture in which members enjoy making art and dressing up as anthropomorphized characters. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 11 Apr. 2022 Not so with McGrath’s debut effort, which gives readers an indelible American character, a mashup of Huck Finn, Christopher McCandless, and Forrest Gump who thrives in a riverbank subculture far removed from politics and Twitter. Elizabeth Hightower Allen, Outside Online, 8 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subculture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of subculture

1885, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for subculture

Time Traveler

The first known use of subculture was in 1885

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Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Subculture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for subculture


sub·​cul·​ture | \ ˈsəb-ˌkəl-chər How to pronounce subculture (audio) \

Medical Definition of subculture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Other Words from subculture

subcultural \ -​ˈkəlch-​(ə-​)rəl How to pronounce subculture (audio) \ adjective
subculturally \ -​ē How to pronounce subculture (audio) \ adverb


transitive verb
subcultured; subculturing

Medical Definition of subculture (Entry 2 of 2)

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


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