subdue

verb
sub·​due | \ səb-ˈdü How to pronounce subdue (audio) , -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

Marja was a Taliban hotbed then and the Marines were intent on subduing it. New York Times, "She Married 3 Brothers in Family Torn by War," 26 May 2018 An earlier attempt to subdue him with a stun gun failed. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Billings, Montana sees 2nd fatal police shooting in 24 hours," 10 Apr. 2018 An earlier attempt to subdue the man with a stun gun failed. Matthew Brown, Fox News, "Montana police officer shoots, kills man at Billings casino," 10 Apr. 2018 Apache, the police dog that was shot while chasing down a fleeing suspect yet continued to subdue the man, has been honored by the American Kennel Club, the purebred dog registry. Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, "Heroic Indianapolis State Police dog honored after taking a bullet but still getting its suspect," 29 Jan. 2018 As scientists learn more about potential problems of blue light, blue light blocking glasses have gained popularity as a way to subdue digital eye strain and avoid disrupted sleep cycle. Gina Tomaine, Good Housekeeping, "I Wore Blue Light Blocking Glasses Every Day for a Week — Here’s What I Learned," 11 July 2018 Their attempts to subdue him with a Taser were unsuccessful, and Davis fled deeper into the building. Katy Moeller, idahostatesman, "Canyon sheriff’s officials say suicidal suspect fired 10 times during workplace standoff," 11 Jan. 2018 The lighting is subdued, yet the room is brightened by the colorful tiles on the walls. Diana Oates, Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Restaurants in Houston," 1 Oct. 2018 But compared with the turbans, kimonos, fishnet masks, leather harnesses and bouffant wigs he's paraded on red carpets, today's threads are subdued. Amy Nicholson, chicagotribune.com, "Is Hollywood ready for the brilliant weirdness of Lakeith Stanfield?," 3 July 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

21 Mar 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 How to pronounce subdue (audio) , -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

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