subjugate

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

Definition of subjugate

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from subjugate

subjugation \ ˌsəb-​ji-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce subjugate (audio) \ noun
subjugator \ ˈsəb-​ji-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce subjugate (audio) \ 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 Critical race theory threatens the U.S. military’s mission of defending in combat the Constitution and our way of life from enemies who would destroy and subjugate us. Tom Cotton, National Review, "There’s No Place in America’s Military for Racist Training," 1 Apr. 2021 Because while much has been done to subjugate and disrupt Puerto Rico, its spirit remains. New York Times, "Von’s Essential Recipes," 22 Mar. 2021 Dvorkin appears determined to subjugate all other forms of religious association to the dominance of the pro-Putin, statist wing of the Russian Orthodox Church. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Religious Persecution Abroad Reminds Us Why Religious Liberty Matters," 20 Mar. 2021 The force, with its numerous branches, including the DCI, has not been significantly reformed since colonial times, Kinoti acknowledged, back when British overlords used it to subjugate rebellions. Max Bearak, Washington Post, "Kenyan police are using Twitter to become known as crime fighters, not killers," 1 Mar. 2021 The English, with a great deal of Native assistance, won this contest and did indeed subjugate the Indian survivors, many of whose ancestors remain in southern New England to this day. National Geographic, "Massasoit's strategic diplomacy kept peace with the Pilgrims for decades," 19 Nov. 2020 That gave white Southerners a free hand to re-subjugate their Black neighbors, whose names were stricken from the voter rolls and schools, and decent jobs were closed to them. Ron Grossman, chicagotribune.com, "Flashback: All the twists and turns of the election of 1876. Spoiler: We came close to major civil strife.," 25 Sep. 2020 Coetzee's allegorical novel reflects on themes of power, war, torture, the evils of colonialism and the need humans have to demonize others in order to subjugate them. Jocelyn Noveck, Star Tribune, "Review: A superb Rylance lifts up languorous 'Barbarians'," 5 Aug. 2020 It’s time to stop local tyrants from massive government reach and subjugating us. Lauren Mcgaughy, Dallas News, "The politics of protest: Organizers of anti-shutdown rallies in North Texas say efforts are homegrown," 24 Apr. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for subjugate

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

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Time Traveler for subjugate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for subjugate

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Subjugate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subjugate. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for subjugate

subjugate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of subjugate

formal : 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.)

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