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[suh b-dood, -dyood] /səbˈdud, -ˈdyud/
quiet; inhibited; repressed; controlled:
After the argument he was much more subdued.
lowered in intensity or strength; reduced in fullness of tone, as a color or voice; muted:
subdued light; wallpaper in subdued greens.
(of land) not marked by any striking features, as mountains or cliffs:
a subdued landscape.
Origin of subdued
First recorded in 1595-1605; subdue + -ed2
Related forms
subduedly, adverb
subduedness, noun
half-subdued, adjective
self-subdued, adjective
unsubdued, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unsubdued
Historical Examples
  • But he came forth from prison as he entered it, unsubdued in spirit.

  • It was, he said, impossible to march into France with Navarre unsubdued in his rear.

    Henry VIII. A. F. Pollard
  • One was the presence of unsubdued and hostile Indian tribes.

  • He was unsubdued, but was too much dazed to be able to do anything more than swear at them all.

    A Spoil of Office Hamlin Garland
  • Her step had lost its spring, but her cheerful spirit was unsubdued.

    The Thorogood Family R.M. Ballantyne
  • But give him the world raw and unsubdued and he can transform it again as he has.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • He set to work once more increasing his acreage, vigorous and unsubdued.

  • He let them come; loud, passionate, bitter sobs; unchecked, unsubdued.

    The Shadow of Ashlydyat

    Mrs. Henry Wood
  • I closed my eyes amid the subdued struggle and my unsubdued grief.

    Against the Current Edward A. Steiner
  • Under the clinging velvet, her body seemed independent and unsubdued.

    Song of the Lark Willa Cather
British Dictionary definitions for unsubdued


cowed, passive, or shy
gentle or quiet: a subdued whisper
(of colours, etc) not harsh or bright: subdued lighting
Derived Forms
subduedly, adverb
subduedness, noun
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 unsubdued



c.1600, "subjugated," past participle adjective from subdue. Meaning "calmed down, reduced in intensity" is recorded from 1822.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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