sub·​sid·​i·​ary | \ səb-ˈsi-dē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce subsidiary (audio) , -ˈsi-də-rē \

Definition of subsidiary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : furnishing aid or support : auxiliary subsidiary details
b : of secondary importance a subsidiary stream
2 : of, relating to, or constituting a subsidy a subsidiary payment to an ally


plural subsidiaries

Definition of subsidiary (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is subsidiary especially : a company wholly controlled by another

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Other Words from subsidiary


subsidiarily \ səb-​ˌsi-​dē-​ˈer-​ə-​lē How to pronounce subsidiary (audio) \ adverb

Examples of subsidiary in a Sentence

Noun one of the company's foreign subsidiaries
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective All other human passions are subsidiary to lust for money and contempt for those no longer in a position to dole it out. Geoffrey O’brien, The New York Review of Books, 29 Jan. 2020 Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, crowning Point Loma’s seabound ridge, is a vast public symbol, a monument, enveloping a multitude of subsidiary symbols like a fruit cradling seeds. San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Oct. 2020 Analysts estimate the subsidiary’s earnings will drop by about 8.9% this year, the most since 2003. Bruce Einhorn,, 19 May 2020 The drug has the backing of one of Japan’s most powerful companies, Fujifilm, whose subsidiary Toyama Chemical developed Avigan. Ben Dooley, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2020 Earlier this month, Singapore Airlines and subsidiary SilkAir announced a temporary reduction in flight services across their global network, owing to weak demand as a result of the outbreak., 2 Apr. 2020 The company has also formed strategic investor partnerships with Consort Medical, whose subsidiary Bespark manufacturers Binx's test cartridges, and Wondfo Biotech. Mark Hay, Fortune, 21 Apr. 2020 The all-cash deal for the minority holding, made through subsidiary Sony Corporation of America, will see Bilibili and Sony collaborate in entertainment businesses in the Chinese market, including anime and mobile games. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Apr. 2020 Over time, the problem grew worse: Sahad sent 649 takedown notices to Redbubble and its subsidiary Teepublic in 2019. Roger Sollenberger, Wired, 16 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The five-bedroom Chateau Bigaud, which is owned by a subsidiary of one of Babis’s Czech companies, sits on 9.4 acres (3.8 hectares) in a hilltop village where Pablo Picasso spent the last years of his life, the group said. Iain Marlow, Fortune, 4 Oct. 2021 It’s operated as a subsidiary of Amplify Energy, Beta Operating Co. Los Angeles Times, 4 Oct. 2021 The bribes were used to, among other things, secure the passage of HB6, which gave FirstEnergy a minimum revenue guarantee and offered a $1 billion bailout to nuclear power plants owned by a former FirstEnergy subsidiary. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 17 Sep. 2021 Autonomous vehicles that can operate without a driver, like those built by Alphabet’s Waymo subsidiary, incorporate multiple lidar sensors, covering all sides of the vehicle. David Silver, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 Horseshoe is operated by a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corp. Jeff Barker,, 8 Sep. 2021 Sky News Australia is run by a subsidiary of News Corp Australia, owned by billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Michelle Toh, CNN, 2 Aug. 2021 The company still owned the power plants operated by a subsidiary when the bill was approved and quickly signed by DeWine in July 2019. Mark Gillispie And Andrew Welsh-huggins, Star Tribune, 26 July 2021 One of the largest plots of land owned by a subsidiary of the Gateses’ investment arm in Louisiana, Angelina Plantation, was previously owned by former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers, who died last year, a month after being released from prison. NBC News, 9 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subsidiary.' 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 subsidiary


1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1603, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for subsidiary


Latin subsidiarius, from subsidium reserve troops

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Time Traveler for subsidiary

Time Traveler

The first known use of subsidiary was in 1543

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Dictionary Entries Near subsidiary



subsidiary cell

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Last Updated

24 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Subsidiary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for subsidiary



English Language Learners Definition of subsidiary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not as important as something else
: owned or controlled by another company



English Language Learners Definition of subsidiary (Entry 2 of 2)

: a company that is owned or controlled by another company


sub·​sid·​i·​ary | \ səb-ˈsi-dē-ˌer-ē, -ˈsi-də-rē \
plural subsidiaries

Legal Definition of subsidiary

: a company having the majority of its stock owned by another company — compare affiliate

Note: The parent company of a subsidiary generally has the same policy-making powers as any majority owner and can do such things as appoint directors and hire officers. The subsidiary is controlled by the parent through these powers, and the parent may be held liable for the acts of the subsidiary if the subsidiary is found to be an instrumentality of the parent.

Other Words from subsidiary

subsidiary adjective


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