sub·​ro·​ga·​tion ˌsə-brō-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce subrogation (audio)
: the act of subrogating
specifically : the assumption by a third party (such as a second creditor or an insurance company) of another's legal right to collect a debt or damages

Examples of subrogation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Senior founding partner of Gilson Daub, a leading workers’ compensation defense, subrogation, longshore and general liability law firm. Brent Daub, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2022 An earlier version of this article quoted law professor Mr. Reiss as saying that only parents who are guarantors on a child’s loan can sue the child for repayment under the laws of subrogation. Robyn A. Friedman, WSJ, 29 Sep. 2022 Right now, the subrogation negotiation still takes place between two humans. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2022 The issue is related to a legal a process called subrogation where insurance companies can seize future payments to policyholders to reimburse themselves for having paid a claim. Sudiksha Kochi, USA TODAY, 5 Aug. 2021 Landlords often have renters sign waivers, such as subrogation waivers that prevent legal action from insurance claims. Jonathan Herpy, Forbes, 2 June 2021 Along with seeing utilities get out from under the burden of wildfire risk, insurers would effectively have to sign on for deep subrogation discounts on future fires. Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2019 Indeed, the subrogation committee, without giving details, proposes a rights offering. Washington Post, 20 July 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'subrogation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of subrogation was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near subrogation

Cite this Entry

“Subrogation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Legal Definition


sub·​ro·​ga·​tion ˌsə-brō-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce subrogation (audio)
: an equitable doctrine holding that when a third party pays a creditor or obligee the third party succeeds to the creditor's rights against the debtor or obligor
also : a doctrine holding that when an insurance company pays an insured's claim of loss due to another's tort the insurer succeeds to the insured's rights (as the right to sue for damages) against the tortfeasor

called also equitable subrogation

: an act or instance of subrogating
where an insurer has acquired by an assignment or by subrogation the right to recover for moneyJ. M. Landers et al.

Note: Subrogation can take place either by operation of law or by contractual agreement.

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