AdjectiveAbout two-thirds of the way through, this nonsense comes to life for fifteen minutes when the point of view shifts to that of a subordinate character, an aging thug (well played by Laurence Fishburne) who is employed by the casino to spot card counters.—Richard Alleva, Commonweal, May 9, 2008A reporter's right to protect a source is a subordinate matter that obfuscates the more important issue of violating journalistic integrity and responsibility when one becomes an agent, if not a pawn, of a mean-spirited and vindictive retaliation scheme.—Jon Duffey, Editor & Publisher, 13 Oct. 2003She was thirty-three, furiously frustrated with her subordinate role in the studio—attending to the model's hair, makeup, and clothes—and chronically dissatisfied with her own pictures, which represented a different kind of woman's work.—Judith Thurman, New Yorker, 13 Oct. 2003
his contention is that environment plays a subordinate role to heredity in determining what we become NounCase in point: the dismissal of advertising chief Julie Roehm, accused of having an affair with a subordinate (also fired) and taking freebies from an advertising agency (also fired) in violation of company policies.—Bill Saporito, Time, 12 Nov. 2007He ran an extremely unhappy headquarters. He tended to berate subordinates, frequently shouting and cursing at them.—Thomas E. Ricks, Fiasco, 2006She also found it impossible to give negative feedback. As a consequence, her work and that of her subordinates started to suffer, and she was missing deadlines.—Steven Berglas, Harvard Business Review, June 2002
She leaves the day-to-day running of the firm to her subordinates. subordinates do most of the actual creation of the famous designer's clothing designsVerbClinton administration Trade Representative Mickey Kantor declared: "The days when we could afford to subordinate our economic interests to foreign policy or defense concerns are long past."—Lawrence F. Kaplan, New Republic, 18 Mar. 2002The real reason, though, is that art survives life, and this unpalatable realization lies behind the lumpen desire to subordinate the former to the latter. The finite always mistakes the permanent for the infinite and nurtures designs upon it.—Joseph Brodsky, Times Literary Supplement, 26 Oct. 1990
it is one of the lessons of history that more powerful civilizations often subordinate weaker ones See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The governor of Utah on Thursday fired the head of the state's National Guard after a two-year Pentagon investigation concluded that Maj. Gen. Michael Turley had had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate soldier, according to sources familiar with the investigation.—Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, 17 Aug. 2023 All the rest — development, the economy, society, and culture — were subordinate and must bend to the needs of security and survival.—Ronen Bergman, New York Times, 12 Oct. 2023 Sadler is the spokesperson for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, based out of Cherry Point, N.C.
The squadron is a subordinate unit based at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina.—Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Aug. 2023 Rollins attended the fundraiser featuring First Lady Jill Biden in Andover, Massachusetts, on July 14, 2022, after being driven in a government vehicle by a subordinate employee in her office, according to the report from Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general.—Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 17 May 2023 Although legally subordinate to the PLO, with powers limited to the West Bank and Gaza, the PA swiftly became the center of gravity in the Palestinian political system.—Ghaith Al-Omari, Foreign Affairs, 16 May 2023 For Gilman, the life of an artist was always subordinate to the work.—Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2023 The Anchorage Central Labor Council is a subordinate organization of the Alaska AFL-CIO.—Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Sep. 2023 The city police are subordinate to the city mayor, the airport police to the federal government—both being at irreconcilable odds with each other.—Karen Naundorf, WIRED, 13 Sep. 2023
Nicole Mehringer was caught drunk in an unmarked police car with a male subordinate with whom she was romantically involved, her actions drew a rare public rebuke from the chief of police.—Libor Jany, Los Angeles Times, 9 Aug. 2023 So Brown dialed a subordinate’s number at one o’clock in the morning.—Bysheryl Estrada, Fortune, 19 Sep. 2023 The stars in question were Mitch Kessler, a Matt Lauer type played by Steve Carell, whose charm and celebrity enabled him to prey on — and professionally sideline — female subordinates.—Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2023 The show that used to be about the misery of lowly subordinates has turned into one about executive alliances.—Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2023 Top Navy commanders pressured subordinates to sail even when the crews and ships were not fully prepared to go to sea.—Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica, 7 Sep. 2023 The complaint includes accusations of multiple other instances where Bronson and other subordinates attempted to circumvent Demboski in order to pursue actions that violated municipal code.—Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Sep. 2023 In his business career, as a candidate and as president, Mr. Trump has frequently plucked subordinates from trouble or obscurity and given them a lifeline — and, by extension, a sense of obligation to him.—Ben Protess, New York Times, 30 July 2023 The former network chief, who was forced out after failing to disclose a romantic relationship with a CNN subordinate and for committing ethical breaches in the newsgathering process, likely will fail in any bid to take back the network.—Tatiana Siegel, Variety, 25 July 2023
In India, Modi and the BJP have espoused the ideology known as Hindutva, a version of Indian national identity that subordinates the subcontinent’s ethnic and religious diversity into a narrative of Hindu supremacy.—Justin Davidson, Curbed, 9 Nov. 2023 But Smotrich has subordinated the military governor of the West Bank to himself and appointed a civilian deputy governor responsible for the Israeli settlers.—Martin Indyk, Foreign Affairs, 2 Oct. 2023 Giving and receiving feedback is a two-way street and should never just be from manager to subordinate.—Austin Speck, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 The reason is that each would require leading states to subordinate their own sovereignty.—Henry A. Kissinger, Foreign Affairs, 13 Oct. 2023 As for the short-term future of Wagner, Blank believes that Russian military commanders will take over the positions of Prigozhin and Utkin and attempt to subordinate them to the Russian Army.—Brady Knox, Washington Examiner, 2 Sep. 2023 But the religious and spiritual elements are almost entirely absent, Jewish practice subordinated to its social side—family pride and the photo ops to enshrine it.—Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 23 Aug. 2023 But that logic has failed to win over powerful administration figures — especially on the National Security Council — who maintain that nothing should be subordinated to limiting China’s might.—Peter S. Goodman Ulet Ifansasti, New York Times, 18 Aug. 2023 Treating replies as equal as opposed to subordinate somehow just allows for a very different and much more broad range of public conversations.—Alex Heath, The Verge, 5 July 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'subordinate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Adjective and Noun
Middle English subordinat, from Medieval Latin subordinatus, past participle of subordinare to subordinate, from Latin sub- + ordinare to order — more at ordain