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

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 In adapting the best-selling novel from Peter Benchley, Spielberg tossed the trashy subplots and focused on the elemental conflict: man vs. nature, mined for maximum tension and scares. Jason Bailey, New York Times, "10 Movies to Fill the ‘Jurassic’-Sized Hole in Your Heart," 11 June 2018 Kimmy Schmidt took some online heat last season for a Native American subplot. Mary Kaye Schilling, Town & Country, "Tina Fey Goes To War," 1 Mar. 2016 But a subplot in the new season’s fifth episode begins more like a horror story — one we’ve seen described repeatedly over the past year, in the revelations about Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood predators. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "‘GLOW’ Brings #MeToo to the 1980s," 3 July 2018 Built by Dennis Green as a new-age Bill Walshian experiment, Minnesota seemed destined to become a forgettable subplot of the Aikman/Favre/Young/Elway/era. Conor Orr,, "The Greatest Team Never to Make It: An Oral History of the 1998 Vikings," 27 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

19 Oct 2018

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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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one that holds something together

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