sub·​ma·​rine | \ˈsəb-mə-ˌrēn, ˌsəb-mə-ˈrēn\

Definition of submarine 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: underwater especially : undersea submarine plants submarine minerals



Definition of submarine (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : something that functions or operates underwater specifically : a naval vessel designed to operate underwater

2 : a large sandwich on a long split roll with any of a variety of fillings (such as meatballs or cold cuts, cheese, lettuce, and tomato)

called also grinder, hero, hoagie, Italian sandwich, po'boy, sub, torpedo


submarined; submarining

Definition of submarine (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to attack by or as if by a submarine : attack from beneath

intransitive verb

: to dive or slide under something

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Synonyms for submarine

Synonyms: Adjective

aquatic, submerged, sunken, underwater

Synonyms: Noun

Cuban sandwich, grinder, hero, hoagie (also hoagy), Italian sandwich, poʼboy (also poor boy), sub, torpedo

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Examples of submarine in a Sentence


the submarine fossils that are to be found in coral reefs


always orders a roast beef submarine with the works

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Condor, a minesweeper, found a Japanese submarine in restricted waters just before the attack. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "106-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor visits Washington for Memorial Day," 28 May 2018 By Herbert Temple, European Manager of the I.N.S. LONDON, May 7 -- Germany today delivered her greatest sea blow of the war at Great Britain, when the giant Cunard liner Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine off Kinsale Head, Ireland., "May 7, 1915: Lusitania Torpedoed," 7 May 2018 Firefighters instead found a small, homemade craft resembling a submarine floating in the bay with nobody aboard. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Abandon ship! Empty homemade sub found adrift in San Francisco Bay | The Sacramento Bee," 30 Apr. 2018 Its Russian owner conspired with a Cuban gangster and a Miami exotic-car dealer to broker the sale of a Soviet military submarine to a Colombian cocaine cartel. Glenn Garvin, miamiherald, "Porky's: Notes from inside South Florida's sleaziest strip club | Miami Herald," 17 Apr. 2018 Dwarfed by America's aircraft carriers, submarines, and destroyers, the Riverine Command Boats form the low, but crucial, end of the navy's mix of ships. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Those Boats Iran Seized Are Fast, Mean, and Crucial to the U.S. Navy," 13 Jan. 2016 The mystical Pepperland is under assault from the Blue Meanies, and an aging sailor sets off in his yellow submarine (based on a pre-existing song with Ringo singing lead) to get help. Jordan Hoffman, New York Times, "Where to Stream the Best, and the Most Ridiculous, of the Beatles on Film," 9 July 2018 These were the bombers used in the historic raid over Tokyo in 1942 and they were sent on just about all missions, from bombing and strafing to photo reconnaissance and submarine patrol. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Broken wing of Mitchell bomber monument at Milwaukee airport in need of repair," 5 July 2018 The submarine contractor breach, recently reported by the Washington Post, reflects this intense focus on bridging any technological advantage the US may have. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "China Escalates Hacks Against the US as Trade Tensions Rise," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But what about the bullpen that came perilously close to submarining their World Series run last season? Jon Tayler,, "The Houston Astros Are Only Getting Better," 19 June 2018 Waiters and Wall, like Thomas, were submarined by injuries, while Smith and Dunn are young guards still trying to establish themselves in the league. Ben Golliver,, "Isaiah Thomas’s Nightmare Contract Year Sputters to a Close With Season-Ending Surgery," 28 Mar. 2018 This is submarining, or peacing out and then popping back up like a submarine resurfacing from underwater. De Elizabeth, Allure, "9 Annoying Dating Trends Every Modern Romantic Needs to Know," 22 Mar. 2018 Just when hopeless romantics thought that mind-boggling dating trends like submarining and stashing were left behind in 2017, a new woe has bubbled up to vex sincere sentiments everywhere: mosting. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "'Mosting' is the latest maddening dating trend," 20 Mar. 2018 The Pelicans went into this year's All-Star Break on a three-game winning streak, in the hopes of jump-starting a campaign that looked to be submarined when DeMarcus Cousins went down with an Achilles injury. Clyde Verdin,, "Anthony Davis plots his future, with and without the Pelicans," 21 Feb. 2018 That team submarined itself to 37 wins under the bulk of its own malaise. Rob Mahoney,, "The Pistons Are Making the Most of a Clean Slate," 31 Oct. 2017 Still, the Suns submarined them with three consecutive blowout losses, each as lifeless as the next. Rob Mahoney,, "The 12 Biggest Surprises of the NBA Season So Far," 23 Oct. 2017 Twenty-three bodies may still be inside the sunken remains of a World War I submarine found off the coast of Belgium. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "See the WWI Submarine Discovered Off the Coast of Belgium," 22 Sep. 2017

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


1648, in the meaning defined above


1703, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1905, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for submarine

The first known use of submarine was in 1648

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More Definitions for submarine



English Language Learners Definition of submarine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: located below the surface of the water ,



English Language Learners Definition of submarine (Entry 2 of 2)

: a ship that can operate underwater


sub·​ma·​rine | \ˈsəb-mə-ˌrēn, ˌsəb-mə-ˈrēn\

Kids Definition of submarine

: a naval ship designed to operate underwater

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Comments on submarine

What made you want to look up submarine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


full of whispering sounds

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