subdue

verb
sub·​due | \ səb-ˈdü, -ˈdyü\
subdued; subduing

Definition of subdue

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from subdue

subduer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for subdue

conquer, vanquish, defeat, subdue, reduce, overcome, overthrow mean to get the better of by force or strategy. conquer implies gaining mastery of. Caesar conquered Gaul vanquish implies a complete overpowering. vanquished the enemy and ended the war defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals. the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas subdue implies a defeating and suppression. subdued the native tribes after years of fighting reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender. the city was reduced after a month-long siege overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle. overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power. violently overthrew the old regime

Examples of subdue in a Sentence

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

Mikulcik was eventually subdued by one off-duty and another retired state trooper, who remained on the scene until Newark police arrived to place Mikulcik under arrest. Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, "McDonald's patron arrested for using disabling chemical spray during attack on other patrons," 22 June 2018 The Band of Heathens were stationed quietly in a corner, subdued by the minimalist surroundings and looking more like a band of accountants. Lois Smith Brady, New York Times, "You Could Write a Country Song About Them. (He Probably Will.)," 1 June 2018 Margraves was quickly subdued by Nassar’s attorney Matthew Newburg, Eaton County deputies and Michigan State police officers. Scooby Axson, SI.com, "Father of Abuse Victims Charges Larry Nassar in Courtroom," 2 Feb. 2018 Toxins, however, are usually defined as poisons produced by living organisms, typically as a means of defense or to subdue prey. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Poison," 25 Sep. 2018 Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman announced that her office won’t prosecute officers shown subduing Frederick Darnell Hall in bystander video that began circulating Friday. Alex Derosier, The Seattle Times, "DA: No charges for police videotaped subduing man with baton," 20 Aug. 2018 The officers were able to subdue Smith without injuring the child, Sanders said. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "NKY man who used 2-year-old as human shield sent to prison," 18 June 2018 By subduing cravings and withdrawal, the medication addresses some of the core causes of addiction. German Lopez, Vox, "A Vermont needle exchange isn’t just giving out syringes. It’s offering treatment on the spot.," 20 Nov. 2018 Like Naked Heat, which launched last year, Naked Cherry is another play off the red spectrum and its ability to create both subdued and statement looks. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "The Swatches for Urban Decay's Naked Cherry Palette Are Drop-Dead Gorgeous," 4 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subdue.' 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 subdue

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Dictionary Entries near subdue

subduable

subdual

subduction

subdue

subdued

subduedness

subdural

Statistics for subdue

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for subdue

The first known use of subdue was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for subdue

subdue

verb

English Language Learners Definition of subdue

: 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)

subdue

verb
sub·​due | \ səb-ˈdü, -ˈdyü\
subdued; subduing

Kids Definition of subdue

1 : to bring under control He subdued his fears. Police subdued the angry man.
2 : to overcome in battle Troops subdued the enemy.

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More from Merriam-Webster on subdue

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with subdue

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for subdue

Spanish Central: Translation of subdue

Nglish: Translation of subdue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of subdue for Arabic Speakers

Comments on subdue

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