sub·​plot | \ˈsəb-ˌplät \

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 consider the right guard spot, and the fates of the players that play it, another compelling subplot of the last month of the season. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks Q&A: Did Russell Wilson really throw the shoe of a 49er? What happens without D.J. Fluker?," 4 Dec. 2018 Preacher has always been a bit unfocused, with its quirky subplots and eccentric side characters. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Preacher ends third season with a pop, not a bang," 28 Aug. 2018 Once the whistle blows, all debates and subplots subside. Alex Ward, Vox, "9 questions about the 2018 World Cup you were too embarrassed to ask," 12 June 2018 The Caroline subplot is a neat encapsulation of how mainstream culture thought about date rape in 1984. Constance Grady, Vox, "How the Kavanaugh allegations became a test for #MeToo," 24 Sep. 2018 Piling complication upon complication, a new subplot introduces a rival gang of Atlanta drug dealers, named Sno Patrol for their white suits, white cars and white firearms, who run afoul of the play-it-cool Priest and ignite a brutal turf war. Justin Chang,, "'Superfly' is a flashy, violent and fitfully compelling remake of the 1972 blaxploitation hit," 12 June 2018 An underrated subplot of this year’s World Cup TV coverage has been the commentary of Tony Meola. Dan Gartland,, "Even Troy Aikman Thinks World Cup Announcer Tony Meola Sounds Just Like Him," 2 July 2018 Viewers get their first signal this season will be different thanks to a running subplot about Jessica’s hair., "13 Reasons Why," 27 May 2018 What is going to dawn on Trump now is that in television terms the summit was only a limited series while the Mueller inquiry, and its many attendant subplots, is an open-ended series with no season finale yet in view. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Summit Spectacle Was Just a Momentary Distraction From His Bigger Problems," 13 June 2018

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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Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

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The first known use of subplot was in 1812

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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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a nest or breeding place

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