- to conquer and bring into subjection: Rome subdued Gaul.
- to overpower by superior force; overcome.
- to bring under mental or emotional control, as by persuasion or intimidation; render submissive.
- to repress (feelings, impulses, etc.).
- to bring (land) under cultivation: to subdue the wilderness.
- to reduce the intensity, force, or vividness of (sound, light, color, etc.); tone down; soften.
- to allay (inflammation, infection, etc.).
Origin of subdue
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for subduing
Once he lunged at a man trying to rob a convenience store, subduing him with his bare hands.Castro Street’s Hot Cop Is the Batman to Sexy Mug Shot Guy’s Joker
July 9, 2014
Adversity vexed and irritated, instead of calming and subduing her.Queen Elizabeth
There never was any question of subduing Salome; it was a question of subduing Atland!The Story of a Play
W. D. Howells
At the rate he was subduing me, he must have felt that it would be a long job.Down The River
I have only one means of subduing that savage beast you sold me, you egregious cheat.The Brass Bell
Soon the spade, the plough, and the axe began their subduing work.Six Months at the Cape
- to establish ascendancy over by force
- to overcome and bring under control, as by intimidation or persuasion
- to hold in check or repress (feelings, emotions, etc)
- to render less intense or less conspicuous
Word Origin and History for subduing
late 14c., "to conquer," from Old French souduire "deceive, seduce," from Latin subducere "draw, lead away, withdraw" (see subduce). The sense seems to have been taken in Anglo-French from Latin subdere. Subduct in the sense of "subtract" is from 1570s. Related: Subdued; subduing.