sub·​sume | \ səb-ˈsüm How to pronounce subsume (audio) \
subsumed; subsuming

Definition of subsume

transitive verb

: to include or place within something larger or more comprehensive : encompass as a subordinate or component element red, green, and yellow are subsumed under the term "color"

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Other Words from subsume

subsumable \ səb-​ˈsü-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce subsumable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for subsume


carry, comprehend, contain, embrace, encompass, entail, include, involve, number, take in


exclude, leave (out), miss out [British], omit

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Examples of subsume in a Sentence

games and team sports are subsumed under the classification of “recreation”

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s also the risk that email-management services such as Gmail Inbox and Yahoo Mail could subsume email into yet another proprietary solution, even if the underlying send-and-receive technology remains open. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Work Ruined Email," 2 Aug. 2019 At the high end of that range, many coastal and arid regions that are currently home to humans would become uninhabitable, subsumed by sea or desert. Quanta Magazine, "Scientists Parse Ocean’s Dynamic Role in Climate Change," 11 Apr. 2013 Conscientious government biologists and scientists often feel torn and overwhelmed, subsumed by a system co-opted by industry. Los Angeles Times, "Review: The American West is dying. Christopher Ketcham’s ‘This Land’ is a rallying cry to save it," 26 July 2019 The prime k-tuples conjecture subsumes many of the most central open problems in prime numbers, such as the twin primes conjecture, which posits that there are infinitely many pairs of primes — such as 17 and 19 — that are only two apart. Quanta Magazine, "Mathematicians Discover Prime Conspiracy," 13 Mar. 2016 More Executives in Hollywood say their issue, although a small slice of the much broader dispute, has been subsumed by the larger tensions. Julie Wernau, WSJ, "Smaller Movies Finding Big Problems in China," 3 Dec. 2018 Whatever role clubs once had in their immediate environments, at the highest level at least, is in danger of being subsumed by their position as global brands. Jonathan Wilson,, "England Enjoys Run of Success for Clubs, Country–Amid Backdrop of Unsettling Actions," 7 June 2019 The skepticism from a majority members of the Senate Armed Services Committee renewed doubts that Congress would approve President Trump’s proposed Space Force, which would be subsumed within the Air Force the way the Marine Corps... Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "Space Force Brought Down to Earth in Senate Hearing," 11 Apr. 2019 Bestiaries, popular mostly in Northern Europe, started fading out after about 1300, subsumed into broader natural history texts and encyclopedias. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "‘Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World’ Review: Wondrous Records of Animal Lore," 15 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subsume.' 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 subsume

1818, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for subsume

New Latin subsumere, from Latin sub- + sumere to take up — more at consume

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Statistics for subsume

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for subsume

The first known use of subsume was in 1818

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More from Merriam-Webster on subsume

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with subsume

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for subsume

Britannica English: Translation of subsume for Arabic Speakers

Comments on subsume

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of or relating to the heavens

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