Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

subordinate

[adjective, noun suh-bawr-dn-it; verb suh-bawr-dn-eyt]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. placed in or belonging to a lower order or rank.
  2. of less importance; secondary.
  3. subject to or under the authority of a superior.
  4. subservient or inferior.
  5. subject; dependent.
  6. Grammar.
    1. acting as a modifier, as when I finished, which is subordinate to They were glad in They were glad when I finished.
    2. noting or pertaining to a subordinating conjunction.
  7. Obsolete. submissive.
Show More
noun
  1. a subordinate person or thing.
Show More
verb (used with object), sub·or·di·nat·ed, sub·or·di·nat·ing.
  1. to place in a lower order or rank.
  2. to make secondary (usually followed by to): to subordinate work to pleasure.
  3. to make subject, subservient, or dependent (usually followed by to): to subordinate passion to reason.
Show More

Origin of subordinate

1425–75; late Middle English (adj.) < Medieval Latin subōrdinātus past participle of subōrdināre to subordinate, equivalent to Latin sub- sub- + ōrdin- (stem of ōrdō) rank, order + -ātus -ate1
Related formssub·or·di·nate·ly, adverbsub·or·di·nate·ness, nounsub·or·di·na·tion, sub·or·di·na·cy [suh-bawr-dn-uh-see] /səˈbɔr dn ə si/, nounsub·or·di·na·tive [suh-bawr-dn-ey-tiv, -bawr-dn-uh-] /səˈbɔr dnˌeɪ tɪv, -ˈbɔr dn ə-/, adjectivenon·sub·or·di·nate, adjectivenon·sub·or·di·nat·ing, adjectivepre·sub·or·di·nate, verb (used with object), pre·sub·or·di·nat·ed, pre·sub·or·di·nat·ing.self-sub·or·di·nat·ing, adjectiveun·sub·or·di·nate, adjectiveun·sub·or·di·na·tive, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
2. ancillary. 8. inferior. 9. lower, reduce.

Antonyms

2. superior; primary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for subordinate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • His subordinate officers may complain that they have had no fighting.

  • His bitterness grew, and at last he turned on his subordinate.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • So he came at last to the distant camp of his subordinate comrades.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • But in the Phaedo the doctrine of ideas is subordinate to the proof of the immortality of the soul.

    Meno

    Plato

  • A subordinate Grange for example is a community organization.


British Dictionary definitions for subordinate

subordinate

adjective (səˈbɔːdɪnɪt)
  1. of lesser order or importance
  2. under the authority or control of anothera subordinate functionary
Show More
noun (səˈbɔːdɪnɪt)
  1. a person or thing that is subordinate
Show More
verb (səˈbɔːdɪˌneɪt) (tr usually foll by to)
  1. to put in a lower rank or position (than)
  2. to make subservientto subordinate mind to heart
Show More
Derived Formssubordinately, adverbsubordination or subordinateness, nounsubordinative, adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Medieval Latin subordināre, from Latin sub- + ordō rank
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

Word Origin and History for subordinate

adj.

mid-15c., from Medieval Latin subordinatus "placed in a lower order, made subject," past participle of subordinare "place in a lower order," from Latin sub "under" (see sub-) + ordinare "arrange" (see ordain). Related: Subordinance; subordinant.

Show More

v.

"to bring into a subordinate position," 1590s; see subordinate (adj.). Related: Subordinated; subordinating.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper