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 And ultimately, that whole article is talking about intersectionality in and of itself—what black women were doing to subvert. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rachel Cargle Insists Rest Is the Real Revolution for Black Women," 6 Nov. 2019 For Beijing, the protests are seen impinging on the Communist Party’s redline that Hong Kong not be used as a base for foreign interference, or for subverting the regime. Time, "Hong Kong Democracy Activist Joshua Wong Disqualified From Upcoming Election," 29 Oct. 2019 There is something refreshing about this willingness to subvert the pretensions of artistry. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "Ed Sheeran and Friends," 22 July 2019 Even so, the band still finds ways to subvert expectations. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Imperial Teen Discuss Their New Album, The Evolution of Queer Artistry & 'Pushing Buttons'," 12 July 2019 For a restaurant group that prides itself on subverting diner assumptions and expectations with one surprising twist after another, St. Clair Supper Club — which offers no surprises to anyone — represents a reverse approach. Phil Vettel,, "Ya hey where? Wisconsin-style supper club offers near perfect prime rib in a Fulton Market basement," 29 Aug. 2019 Then there is the Japanese robotic cat Doraemon, which China has accused of subverting the minds of young people, and who has been gracing Lennon Walls since the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement. Ilaria Maria Sala, Quartz, "Chairman Mao is making an appearance at the Hong Kong protests," 28 Aug. 2019 Senior intelligence officials, including Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, have warned that Russians are intent on subverting American democratic institutions. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Who’s really being silenced on Twitter?," 25 Aug. 2018 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

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

17 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for subvert

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on subvert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for subvert

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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