subvert

verb
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

Shaw noted that each play seemed to respond to the reception of its predecessor and subvert its apparent lessons. Andrew Katzenstein, Harper's magazine, "The Radical Conservative," 16 Sep. 2019 Similarly, makeup artist Diane Kendal’s reflective smoky eyes brought shine while subverting the hallmarks of the ‘80s. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Proenza Schouler’s Guide to ‘80s Beauty With a Minimalist Twist," 11 Sep. 2019 Such a dramatic move by Elizabeth now could have been seen as the monarch subverting the government. Laura Beers, The Conversation, "Why the queen said yes to Boris Johnson’s request to suspend Parliament," 29 Aug. 2019 Critics argue the move subverts the democratic process. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "Hurricane Dorian is heading straight for Florida," 28 Aug. 2019 But the expectation-subverting show that loves to shift paradigms has pivoted in another significant way. Dan Snierson, EW.com, "The Good Place creator on how — and why — the show changed its ultimate message," 9 Aug. 2019 The Trump campaign chair, Paul Manafort, was passing sensitive voter information and polling data to a Russian operative, and there were so many other ways that Russia subverted our democracy. NBC News, "Full transcript: Mueller testimony before House Judiciary, Intelligence committees," 25 July 2019 Some institutions have maintained their independence, but Mr Orban’s government seems intent on subverting them. The Economist, "How Viktor Orban hollowed out Hungary’s democracy," 29 Aug. 2019 This led a segment of the American elite to regard these culturally isolated French speakers as a potential threat to the territorial integrity of the United States—pawns, conspiracy theorists said, in a Catholic plot to subvert the U.S. Northeast. David Vernette, Smithsonian, "When an Influx of French-Canadian Immigrants Struck Fear Into Americans," 21 Aug. 2019

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

7 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for subvert

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

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More Definitions for subvert

subvert

verb

English Language Learners Definition of subvert

formal
: to secretly try to ruin or destroy a government, political system, etc.
: to make (something) weaker or less effective

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More from Merriam-Webster on subvert

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with subvert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for subvert

Spanish Central: Translation of subvert

Nglish: Translation of subvert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of subvert for Arabic Speakers

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a topic to which one constantly reverts

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