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

Meanwhile, Mary Ellen’s romancing a neighbor boy named Bob (Michael Cimino), a wacky subplot that could’ve been in one of those old telefilms Disney would replay every October. Darren Franich,, "Annabelle Comes Home pushes the Conjuring universe toward absurdity: EW review," 24 June 2019 Mary's ex-lover keeps video-calling the apartment and leaving desperate messages, a tiresome subplot that is sore-thumby amid all this melancholy. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Ray Meets Helen': Film Review," 5 May 2018 There are subplots to watch for - rivalries within the larger field, uneasy alliances aimed at hobbling front-runners, generational friction, a competition to outdo everyone else at Trump bashing. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "20 for 2020: Dual Democratic debates in Miami could be defining or disastrous for presidential hopefuls," 24 June 2019 The biggest misfire is a subplot that follows Stephen and his wife Celeste’s (T’Nia Miller) teenage daughter Bethany (Lydia West), who wears a device that projects emoji-like digital masks that resemble Snapchat filters over her face. Judy Berman, Time, "HBO's Quasi-Dystopian Years and Years Is the Future Liberals Fear," 22 June 2019 The novel includes many subplots—some civilian, some military, some set in German or Soviet concentration camps. Robert Chandler, The New Yorker, "How the Soviet Literary Establishment Censored Vasily Grossman," 19 June 2019 The film has some compelling new subplots, like the murder of a landowner and the black man who is wrongfully blamed for it. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "The Outlaw World of Deadwood," 6 June 2019 Yet of all the subplots in that series, there was no moment more interesting than the Game 5 conversation between Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Durant that aired on TNT. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "That's that: Kevin Durant's epic Game 3 should put an end to iso-ball chatter," 7 June 2018 This all made for an incredibly awkward subplot, as former head coach Rick Pitino now may want to reevaluate an unfortunate tattoo. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Rick Pitino has a tattoo commemorating Louisville's now-vacated 2013 national title," 20 Feb. 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

13 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for subplot

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with subplot

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something desired as essential

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