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 subjugation (audio) \ noun
subjugator \ ˈsəb-​ji-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce subjugator (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

Walker suggested rather than destroying the Washington mural, school officials should simply cover it and require freshmen to take a course on slavery and California’s role in subjugating Native Americans. Washington Post, "San Francisco to paint over debated George Washington mural," 4 July 2019 Positioning the United States behind the rest, Trump portrayed America as a humiliated, subjugated dupe—and gave a new, more dynamic rationale to a stale neocon agenda. The New York Review of Books, "Stephen Wertheim," 2 Jan. 2019 Europe is subjugating an ever-growing share of its foreign policy and trade agendas to the appeasement of Turkey and Libya’s authoritarian leaders. Amanda Taub, New York Times, "Trump’s Immigration Approach Isn’t New: Europe and Australia Went First," 18 July 2019 The news right now is also full of stories about how women are subjugated or abused. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "Going Home with Wendell Berry," 29 May 2019 Big, who in the film is taught from a young age to strive toward responsibility, agreeability, and success, can’t thrive, or even survive, in a world that uses his desires as a way to subjugate him. Prince Shakur, Teen Vogue, ""Native Son" Reflects a World Where Young Black Men Are Often Set Up to Fail," 16 Apr. 2019 Its objectives are to spread the Islamic revolution from Tehran to Damascus, to destroy Israel, and to subjugate anyone who refuses to submit, starting with the Iranian people. Mike Pompeo, WSJ, "The U.S.-Saudi Partnership Is Vital," 27 Nov. 2018 Shame on Cal State Long Beach President Jane Close Conoley for offering up Prospector Pete as scapegoat for a university, city and state that all have names associated with occupiers who murdered and subjugated indigenous peoples. WSJ, "Cal State Long Beach Has Only Begun Virtue," 30 Sep. 2018 The Power begins in a world in which women are subjugated, in which they are raped and ignored and belittled and live their lives in fear. Constance Grady, Vox, "How 3 feminist dystopias are trying to update The Handmaid’s Tale for today," 29 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for subjugate

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for subjugate

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

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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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