subjugate

verb

sub·​ju·​gate ˈsəb-ji-ˌgāt How to pronounce subjugate (audio)
subjugated; subjugating

transitive verb

1
: to bring under control and governance as a subject : conquer
2
: to make submissive : subdue
subjugation noun
subjugator noun

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.

Examples of subjugate in a Sentence

The emperor's armies subjugated the surrounding lands. a people subjugated by invaders
Recent Examples on the Web Super Earth has subjugated the Cyborgs on that planet after taking it over. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 Israel’s absolute right to exist gives it no right to subjugate, let alone massacre, Palestinians. Steve Koppman, The Mercury News, 7 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for subjugate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'subjugate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Latin subjugatus, past participle of subjugare, from sub- + jugum yoke — more at yoke

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of subjugate was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near subjugate

Cite this Entry

“Subjugate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subjugate. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

subjugate

verb
sub·​ju·​gate ˈsəb-ji-ˌgāt How to pronounce subjugate (audio)
subjugated; subjugating
1
: to bring under control and rule as a subject : conquer
2
: to make willing to submit to others : subdue
subjugation noun
subjugator noun

More from Merriam-Webster on subjugate

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