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 In that telling of Euro 2020, Italy was somewhere between a subplot and a supporting cast. New York Times, 11 July 2021 There’s a bit of subplot there because the president-elect of the state workers union, Richard Louis Brown, earlier said the local would not support Newsom because of pandemic pay cuts. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 June 2021 Instead, go in expecting laughs, poignancy, and, in a subplot involving the CEO’s teen daughter, strong ideas about privileged white people and the dangers wrought by sloppy do-goodism., 9 July 2021 That is now a subplot of this coaching search, not only how much the next guy gets paid, but who pays it. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 Mar. 2021 One subplot within that idea: Will St. Thomas eventually be able to build a rivalry with the Gophers in at least some key sports? Michael Rand, Star Tribune, 9 Feb. 2021 The play’s unknown author centers a subplot on a raving bigot named Swetnam, who is fond of traducing women. Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2021 That subplot didn't make it to the film adaptation. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 16 June 2021 The film’s numbers, drawn from a wide range of musical styles, rarely follow a single emotional through line, instead presenting entire symphonies of character, gesture, and subplot. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 10 June 2021

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

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Subplot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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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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