subpar

adjective sub·par \ ˈsəb-ˌpär \
variants: or less commonly sub-par
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of subpar

chiefly US
: below par: such as
a : 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
b 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.

First Known Use of subpar

1922


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