[ suhb ]
/ sʌb /


verb (used without object), subbed, sub·bing.

to act as a substitute for another.

verb (used with object), subbed, sub·bing.

Photography. to coat (a film or plate) with a substratum.

Origin of sub

by shortening of words prefixed with sub-

regional variation note for sub

Definition for sub (2 of 4)


supplemental unemployment benefits.

Definition for sub (3 of 4)


a prefix occurring originally in loanwords from Latin (subject; subtract; subvert; subsidy); on this model, freely attached to elements of any origin and used with the meaning “under,” “below,” “beneath” (subalpine; substratum), “slightly,” “imperfectly,” “nearly” (subcolumnar; subtropical), “secondary,” “subordinate” (subcommittee; subplot).
  1. a prefix indicating a basic compound: subacetate; subcarbonate; subnitrate.
  2. a prefix indicating that the element is present in a relatively small proportion, i.e., in a low oxidation state: subchloride; suboxide.

Origin of sub-

< Latin, combining form representing sub (preposition); akin to Greek hypó; see hypo-

Definition for sub (4 of 4) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for sub

British Dictionary definitions for sub (1 of 3)

/ (sʌb) /


short for several words beginning with sub-See subaltern, subeditor, submarine, subordinate, subscription, substandard, substitute, substratum (def. 6)
British informal an advance payment of wages or salaryFormal term: subsistence allowance

verb subs, subbing or subbed

British Dictionary definitions for sub (2 of 3)


abbreviation for

subito (in music)

British Dictionary definitions for sub (3 of 3)



situated under or beneathsubterranean
secondary in rank; subordinatesubeditor
falling short of; less than or imperfectlysubarctic; subhuman
forming a subdivision or subordinate part of a wholesubcommittee
(in chemistry)
  1. indicating that a compound contains a relatively small proportion of a specified elementsuboxide
  2. indicating that a salt is basic saltsubacetate

Word Origin for sub-

from Latin sub
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

Medical definitions for sub



Below; under; beneath:subcutaneous.
Subordinate; secondary:subinfection.
Less than completely or normally; nearly; almost:subfertility.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for sub


A prefix that means “underneath or lower” (as in subsoil), “a subordinate or secondary part of something else” (as in subphylum.), or “less than completely” (as in subtropical.)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.