- lower in rank; subordinate: a subaltern employee.
- British Military. noting a commissioned officer below the rank of captain.
- denoting the relation of one proposition to another when the first proposition is implied by the second but the second is not implied by the first.
- (in Aristotelian logic) denoting the relation of a particular proposition to a universal proposition having the same subject, predicate, and quality.
- of or relating to a proposition having either of these relations to another.
- a person who has a subordinate position.
- British Military. a commissioned officer below the rank of captain.
- Logic. a subaltern proposition.
Origin of subaltern
Examples from the Web for subaltern
I was lunching with William next day, and I told him about the subaltern.
His subaltern, Bacon, had been the first to pass the gap, and had been killed on emerging.With Manchesters in the East
Gerald B. Hurst
It was the subaltern standard-bearer, who had been shot through the left lung.The Downfall
He entreats Blount, who is his subaltern, to shoulder the blame.
"We're all for barley-sugar ourselves just now," the subaltern went on.
- a commissioned officer below the rank of captain in certain armies, esp the British
- a person of inferior rank or position
- the relation of one proposition to another when the first is implied by the second, esp the relation of a particular to a universal proposition
- (as modifier)a subaltern relation
- of inferior position or rank
Word Origin and History for subaltern
"subordinate," c.1400 (implied in subalternal), from Middle French subalterne, from Late Latin subalternus, from Latin sub "under" (see sub-) + alternus "every other (one), one after the other" (see alternate (adj.)). The noun meaning "person of inferior rank" is attested from c.1600; as the designation of an army officer, from 1680s.