sub·​sys·​tem ˈsəb-ˌsi-stəm How to pronounce subsystem (audio)
variants or less commonly sub-system
plural subsystems also sub-systems
: a system that is part of a larger system
These subsystems of the climate system include the atmosphere, the oceans (both upper and deep oceans), the sea ice, the ice sheets, the land surface, and the biota.Stephen H. Schneider
Voyager 2 was the troublesome twin. Even before launch, failures in its onboard computer subsystems had to be rectified. The problems continued after liftoff as the attitude-control subsystem behaved in an unexpected fashion.William I. McLaughlin

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The rover carries an entirely new subsystem to collect and prepare Martian rocks and sediment samples, including a coring drill on its arm and a rack of titanium sample tubes in its chassis. IEEE Spectrum, 17 Feb. 2023 That means the thousands of regular GM hourly workers represented by the UAW will have to keep workers in the event the subsystem people walk out. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, 29 June 2022 The error had triggered a chain reaction: When the left outboard’s hydraulic subsystem stopped pumping, blast air stopped cooling the generator, and fuel and oil stopped flowing to the motor and governor. Eric Lindner, Popular Mechanics, 22 July 2021 According to the company, the memory subsystem will support greater than 500GB/s memory bandwidth with ECC while providing 10 times more energy efficiency over DDR4. Jim Mcgregor, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2021 After a month of delays owing to power outages, fuel tank valve malfunctions, and various spacecraft subsystem failures, Ranger 1 finally launched at 6:04 in the morning on August 23, 1961. Amy Shira Teitel, Discover Magazine, 4 May 2018 Boeing is the only company that has continuously supported every ICBM subsystem — guidance, ground, propulsion and re-entry — over the lifetime of the system. Paul Gattis |, al, 2 Feb. 2023 This new approach is not merely an incremental subsystem-level change, like setting new vehicle mileage or emission standards, but a whole system change. IEEE Spectrum, 18 Dec. 2022 Microsoft recently launched a similarly limited trial of Amazon Appstore apps that utilize its Android subsystem for Windows, built on top of the Subsystem for Linux. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 2 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subsystem.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1756, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of subsystem was in 1756

Dictionary Entries Near subsystem

Cite this Entry

“Subsystem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

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