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 An official said Administrator Emily Murphy made the determination after Trump efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states, most recently in Michigan, which certified Biden’s victory Monday. Author: Matthew Daly And Mary Clare Jalonick, Anchorage Daily News, "US agency affirms Biden as winner of presidential election, lets transition begin," 23 Nov. 2020 For Trump and his Republican allies, Michigan has become the prime target in their campaign to subvert the will of voters backing Biden in the recent election. Maggie Haberman, Star Tribune, "Trump trying to nullify election," 19 Nov. 2020 Prop 22 was conceived in an attempt to subvert a law, known as Assembly Bill 5, making certain categories of California gig workers employees. Washington Post, "Uber and Lyft used sneaky tactics to avoid making drivers employees in California. Now, they’re going national.," 17 Nov. 2020 That has raised questions about whether the Trump campaign is trying to subvert the popular votes in those states. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Trump campaign's challenge of election results in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona push US toward 'loss of democracy'," 13 Nov. 2020 By merging African history and spirituality with contemporary Black bodies and culture, the works subvert the suffering and trauma often associated with people of color, reframing them as powerful, mythic figures instead of victims. Danielle Avram, Dallas News, "Artist Fahamu Pecou merges African spirituality with modern urban culture," 11 Nov. 2020 When courts subvert the authority of the legislature... WSJ, "Courts Must Defer to Legislatures on Voting," 5 Nov. 2020 To call for those votes to be discounted is to do exactly what the president is accusing Democrats of: disenfranchise voters and subvert the will of the electorate. Danielle Campoamor,, "Can Trump Steal The U.S. Election? No, But He’s Saying He Can," 4 Nov. 2020 First, as long as there is a weak institutionalization of democratic norms, the ability to subvert democratic practice will remain. David E Kiwuwa, Quartz Africa, "Tanzania’s democracy has taken a step backward after a flawed election," 4 Nov. 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

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subvert.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 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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