sub·​par ˈsəb-ˌpär How to pronounce subpar (audio)
variants or less commonly sub-par
chiefly US
: below par: such as
: below a usual or normal level or standard
subpar attendance
a subpar performance
Why would a major football school fire a successful coach following a single subpar season?Jerry Kirshenbaum
Because of phylloxera, vineyards have been inconsistent and yielding subpar grapes.James Laube
golf : having a score lower than par
His 19 birdies and two eagles gave him more subpar holes than anyone …David Barrett
… Augusta National never played easier. … Saturday's 30 subpar rounds broke a third-round tournament record …John Garrity

Did you know?

Since sub- means "below", almost anything that fails to measure up to a traditional standard may be called subpar. So you may hear of subpar ratings for a TV show, subpar care at a nursing home, subpar attendance at a concert, or subpar work by a contractor. If you played a subpar round of golf, though, you needed more strokes than you should have.

Word History

First Known Use

1922, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of subpar was in 1922

Dictionary Entries Near subpar

Cite this Entry

“Subpar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

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