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[suh b-vur-zhuh n, -shuh n] /səbˈvɜr ʒən, -ʃən/
an act or instance of subverting.
the state of being subverted; destruction.
something that subverts or overthrows.
Origin of subversion
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin subversiōn- (stem of subversiō) an overthrowing. See sub-, version
Related forms
antisubversion, noun
nonsubversion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for subversion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Neither had he been anxious to exert himself for its subversion.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • Therefore, the logical place to look for subversion is in the slums.

    The Status Civilization Robert Sheckley
  • Your jargon was 'peace,' which meant Spanish invasion and Scottish subversion.

    Raleigh Edmund Gosse
  • Your jargon was peace, which meant Spanish invasion and Scottish subversion.'

    Sir Walter Ralegh William Stebbing
  • What, but its subversion, its disseverment, by its own internal antagonism?

British Dictionary definitions for subversion


the act or an instance of subverting or overthrowing a legally constituted government, institution, etc
the state of being subverted; destruction or ruin
something that brings about an overthrow
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin subversiō destruction, from Latin subvertere to subvert
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
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Word Origin and History for subversion

late 14c., "physical destruction, demolition, ruination," from Old French subversion, from Late Latin subversionem (nominative subversio) "an overthrow, ruin, destruction," from past participle stem of subvertere (see subvert).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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