sub·​vert | \ səb-ˈvərt How to pronounce subvert (audio) \
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 China isn't the only country with a plausible reason to subvert Arweave's network. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Are Chinese spies trying to hack this anticensorship startup? Its execs believe so," 5 Nov. 2020 The academics' petition calls on members of the academic community to boycott events that Czarnek takes part in and to refuse to participate in the work of any collegial bodies that could subvert humanistic values. Vanessa Gera, Star Tribune, "Polish academics protest 'fundamentalist' education minister," 21 Oct. 2020 On the first day of hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris framed the nomination as part of a plan to subvert democratic values. Bruce Peabody, The Conversation, "How the Supreme Court can maintain its legitimacy amid intensifying partisanship," 20 Oct. 2020 At the core of QAnon are baseless allegations that Democratic officials and Hollywood celebrities have engaged in unconscionable crimes, including raping and eating children, while seeking to subvert the Constitution. Washington Post, "YouTube joins Silicon Valley peers in pre-election QAnon clampdown," 15 Oct. 2020 Horror directors seek to subvert expectations of safe spaces, leaving viewers with brand-new fears after the movie has ended. Elizabeth Horkley, The Atlantic, "The First Great ‘Quarantine Horror’ Movie Has Arrived," 19 Aug. 2020 Fennell wanted to subvert the revenge film stereotype. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Promising Young Woman Is Coming for Theaters This Christmas," 9 Oct. 2020 At the core QAnon, which began in October 2017, are baseless allegations that Democratic officials and Hollywood celebrities engaged in unconscionable crimes, including raping and eating children, while seeking to subvert the Constitution. Washington Post, "Facebook imposes major new restrictions on QAnon, stepping up enforcement against the conspiracy theory," 6 Oct. 2020 There would be no violence, no coercive attempt to subvert the constitutional order. Jamelle Bouie New York Times, Star Tribune, "Democracy in crisis: What would the Founding Fathers do?," 3 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for subvert

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for subvert

Last Updated

14 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subvert.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for subvert


How to pronounce subvert (audio)

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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