sub·vert | \ səb-ˈvərt \
subverted; subverting; subverts

Definition of subvert 

transitive verb

1 : to overturn or overthrow from the foundation : ruin

2 : to pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals, allegiance, or faith

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Other words from subvert

subverter noun

Examples of subvert in a Sentence

They conspired to subvert the government. trying to subvert the electoral process

Recent Examples on the Web

That is the truest manifestation of the American spirit, and it’s been subverted in this century by a powermad strongman and his idiot minions who think crushing the poor and the vulnerable is some kind of punk move. Drew Magary, GQ, "There Is Bravery in Each Other," 3 July 2018 With a presidential election just eight months away, fears are growing that democracy in Senegal, long an example for west Africa, is being subverted. The Economist, "Senegal’s democracy is being tested by its president," 28 June 2018 Some members of the Puna community, including native Hawaiians, also say that geothermal development would subvert their worship of the volcano goddess Pele. Paulina Firozi, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Kilauea's eruption reignites debate over Hawaii's geothermal plant," 18 June 2018 Critics accused Trump of subverting the rule of law. Anchorage Daily News, "Giuliani: Trump can probably pardon himself, but has no plan to," 3 June 2018 In an apparent last-ditch effort to subvert the legal process, lawyers appointed to defend Hussein by the Sudanese government tried to file their own appeal, despite never interviewing Hussein or consulting her legal team, Gabralla said. Nima Elbagir And Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "Bites and a broken bed: New details in case of Sudan teen who killed rapist husband," 24 May 2018 Brie walked the walk with her look at the brunch, evoking a punk aesthetic — a genre of music and fashion well-known for subverting the male gaze. Sarah Midkiff,, "Is Netflix The Best Place For Women In Hollywood?," 13 May 2018 In 2015, for instance, a researcher published this hack subverting whitelisting in Google Santa. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "For almost 11 years, hackers could easily bypass 3rd-party macOS signature checks," 12 June 2018 What was previously a genre painting depicting an ordinary scene from domestic life now gets subverted with a modern twist. Jane Levere, Smithsonian, "What Happens When Art History Gets Refigured," 9 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for subvert

Middle English, from Anglo-French subvertir, from Latin subvertere, literally, to turn from beneath, from sub- + vertere to turn — more at worth

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Statistics for subvert

Last Updated

25 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for subvert

The first known use of subvert was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of subvert

: to secretly try to ruin or destroy a government, political system, etc.

: to make (something) weaker or less effective

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