- Music. the fourth tone of a diatonic scale, next below the dominant.
- less than or not quite dominant.
Origin of subdominant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for subdominant
In the wild, killer whales vie for dominance but the subdominant animal then flees the scene and the conflict subsides.‘Blackfish’ Director: Killer Whales Don’t Belong in Captivity
October 24, 2013
There were no fourths; the dominant and the subdominant were absent.A Bed of Roses
W. L. George
At that point the suggested supporting harmony is an augmented triad upon the tonic leading into the subdominant.The Tinguian
The main theme at its third appearance is in the subdominant key, with effective rhythmic modifications.Music: An Art and a Language
Walter Raymond Spalding
The genus Mele affords an instance of a subdominant group of the first description.
We may take Scolia for an example of a subdominant group beginning more southward.
- the fourth degree of a major or minor scale
- a key or chord based on this
- of or relating to the subdominant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012