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

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"
subsumable adjective

Examples of subsume in a Sentence

games and team sports are subsumed under the classification of “recreation”
Recent Examples on the Web Each of those records was subsumed in its respective world, and Lipa slots neatly next to them with a vision of her own. Steven J. Horowitz, Variety, 3 May 2024 Unlike a collection, which subsumes parts in a whole, a list yearns with each entry, honoring its disparate items. Kanya Kanchana, Longreads, 21 Mar. 2024 Fresh off slugging his second home run of the spring a few hours earlier, the doubts that had subsumed his offseason had fully subsided. Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 2 Mar. 2024 More often than not in the history of the entertainment business, successful independent companies have eventually been subsumed by the behemoths that dominated the industry. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 11 Apr. 2024 At times, the taut drama on the court was subsumed by the spectacle off it. Billy Witz, New York Times, 2 Apr. 2024 In the last year, all of the interest and concern about VR and its cousin, augmented reality, was subsumed by the fretful conversation about generative artificial intelligence, and for good reason. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 30 Jan. 2024 And a case could be made that Ohio subsumed many of the elements of the American polity: farmland and industrial cities, college towns and factory towns, sprawling suburbia and a swath of rural southeastern counties in many ways akin to neighboring West Virginia. Ron Elving, NPR, 23 Mar. 2024 Critics of the agency had long argued that the work of the agency should be subsumed under the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a separate U.N. body that focuses on resettling refugees who cannot return home. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2024

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1818, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of subsume was in 1818

Dictionary Entries Near subsume

Cite this Entry

“Subsume.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


sub·​sume səb-ˈsüm How to pronounce subsume (audio)
subsumed; subsuming
: to include or place within something larger or more general
red and green are subsumed under the term "color"

More from Merriam-Webster on subsume

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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