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[suh b-vurt] /səbˈvɜrt/
verb (used with object)
to overthrow (something established or existing).
to cause the downfall, ruin, or destruction of.
to undermine the principles of; corrupt.
Origin of subvert
1325-75; Middle English subverten < Latin subvertere to overthrow, equivalent to sub- sub- + vertere to turn
Related forms
subverter, noun
unsubverted, adjective
1. upset, disrupt, undermine, overturn, sabotage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for subverted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And they all swore to assist any one of their number whose kingdom was subverted.

    Laws Plato
  • But did we not say that kingdoms or governments can only be subverted by themselves?

    Laws Plato
  • Eleven more years were to roll before the Church was subverted.

    Henry VIII. A. F. Pollard
  • Under such conditions as mentioned, faith and love are subverted.

    Epistle Sermons, Vol. II Martin Luther
  • Every holy principle of her nature was subverted by this degrading assumption.

    Woman, Church & State Matilda Joslyn Gage
  • Now, as she had foreseen, the marriage of Rhys had subverted all that.

    The Making of William Edwards Mrs. G. Linnaeus Banks
  • Already the pretended further decision is subverted in Kansas.

    Presidential Candidates: D. W. Bartlett
  • The offices of the auricles and the ventricles are subverted.

British Dictionary definitions for subverted


verb (transitive)
to bring about the complete downfall or ruin of (something existing or established by a system of law, etc)
to undermine the moral principles of (a person, etc); corrupt
Derived Forms
subverter, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin subvertere to overturn, from sub- from below + vertere to turn
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 subverted



late 14c., "to raze, destroy, overthrow," from Middle French subvertir, from Latin subvertere, from sub "under" (see sub-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus). Related: Subverted; subverting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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