sub·​plot | \ ˈsəb-ˌplät How to pronounce subplot (audio) \

Definition of subplot

1 : a subordinate plot in fiction or drama
2 : a subdivision of an experimental plot of land

Examples of subplot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Matilda isn’t boxed into any kind of sentimental subplot, either. David Canfield,, "Why Kayla Cromer deserves an Emmy nod for her groundbreaking turn in Everything's Gonna Be Okay," 6 July 2020 There’s also a goofy subplot involving Lars’ refusal to acknowledge Sigrit’s longing for him. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Has One Winner, and It’s Not the Movie’s Leads," 24 June 2020 One subplot in particular hinges on members of opposing factions teaching each other some lessons about mutual understanding (all while still killing a bunch of other people). Evan Lewis,, "The Last of Us Part II is masterfully crafted and painfully bleak: Review," 12 June 2020 In an early episode in the series Mr Trump shocked audiences by announcing his intention to hold the summit at one of his own golf resorts; a bipartisan backlash truncated that subplot. The Economist, "Introducing the G11 Donald Trump is right that the G7 needs updating. But what for?," 4 June 2020 McMahon packs his narrative with layers of plot, subplots and red herrings to distract from a rather obvious case of environmental raping and pillaging. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, "Murders Most Foul," 6 Mar. 2020 Insert a subplot featuring a boxing instructor named Coach (Colin Farrell) and several other players. Elizabeth Montgomery, Detroit Free Press, "‘The Gentlemen’ is a lackluster gangster film," 23 Jan. 2020 Running parallel to the drama within the Republican party is a subplot about the culture of harassment and abuse propped up by congressmen on both sides. Anne Cohen,, "Mrs America Episode 6 Recap: Meet Jill Ruckelshaus, Republican Feminist Hero," 6 May 2020 Both films make the same unfortunate choice: Like Kristoff, Branch is left to languish in an overdone subplot about being lovesick and unable to express your feelings to your best friend. Christian Holub,, "Trolls World Tour is singing Infinity War's tune without the stakes: Review," 10 Apr. 2020

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

1812, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of subplot was in 1812

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subplot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce subplot (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of subplot

: a plot that is related to but less important than the main plot of a story

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