subvert

verb

sub·​vert səb-ˈvərt How to pronounce subvert (audio)
subverted; subverting; subverts

transitive verb

1
: to overturn or overthrow from the foundation : ruin
2
: to pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals, allegiance, or faith
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 However, politicians and pundits have been slow to recognize what may be the biggest emergent threat to American democracy: efforts by foreign and domestic players alike to subvert the election process. Loren Thompson, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Thom has both embraced and subverted that lineage with humor and playfulness, but also gravitas. José Criales-Unzueta, Vogue, 14 Feb. 2024 Their lawsuit claimed Trump provoked the Jan. 6, 2021, attack to subvert the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 presidential election and that this amounts to insurrection. Gillian Brassil, Sacramento Bee, 8 Feb. 2024 The accusations unveiled on Thursday lay out how the former president and his allies tried to subvert Brazil’s young democracy, including alarming details for a country that was ruled by a military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985. Jack Nicas, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2024 From Reagan to Trump, successive Republican administrations subverted democratic processes by manipulating and suppressing Arctic science. TIME, 8 Feb. 2024 One of its correspondents, who is also an attorney, even worked with Trump’s legal team to subvert the 2020 election results. Marshall Cohen, CNN, 29 Jan. 2024 This bill is a blatant maneuver to subvert the overwhelming opposition of the area’s residents to the huge development at Lutherville Station with its attendant massive traffic overload. Reader Commentary, Baltimore Sun, 25 Jan. 2024 This is an open conspiracy to subvert federal law, seemingly emanating from the top of the executive branch — as illustrated by the Justice Department’s tenacious defense of the practice in court. The Editors, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near subvert

Cite this Entry

“Subvert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subvert. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

subvert

verb
sub·​vert səb-ˈvərt How to pronounce subvert (audio)
1
: to overturn or overthrow from the foundation
2
: to undermine the morals, allegiance, or faith of : corrupt
subverter noun

More from Merriam-Webster on subvert

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!