subpar

adjective

sub·​par ˈsəb-ˌpär How to pronounce subpar (audio)
variants or less commonly sub-par
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.

Examples of subpar in a Sentence

the service at the restaurant was subpar, to say the least
Recent Examples on the Web In 2023, Fry had a subpar season with a .238 batting average. Charles Baggarly, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 8 July 2024 On Friday, speaking in front of supporters at a Wisconsin middle school, Biden acknowledged his subpar debate but vowed to keep fighting. Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, 5 July 2024 The crowds, the often subpar food options, and the lack of adequate seating make for a tedious and uncomfortable experience. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Condé Nast Traveler, 2 Nov. 2023 Macy’s also said views would be subpar on the West Side Highway from 14th St.-26th St. and 40th St.-46th St. Joseph Wilkinson, New York Daily News, 1 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for subpar 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'subpar.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subpar. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!