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subaltern

[ suhb-awl-tern or, especially for 3, 6, suhb-uhl-turn ]
/ sʌbˈɔl tərn or, especially for 3, 6, ˈsʌb əlˌtɜrn /
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adjective

lower in rank; subordinate: a subaltern employee.
British Military. noting a commissioned officer below the rank of captain.
Logic.
  1. denoting the relation of one proposition to another when the first proposition is implied by the second but the second is not implied by the first.
  2. (in Aristotelian logic) denoting the relation of a particular proposition to a universal proposition having the same subject, predicate, and quality.
  3. of or relating to a proposition having either of these relations to another.

noun

a person who has a subordinate position.
British Military. a commissioned officer below the rank of captain.
Logic. a subaltern proposition.

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Origin of subaltern

1575–85; <Late Latin subalternus, equivalent to sub-sub- + alternusalternate

OTHER WORDS FROM subaltern

sub·al·ter·ni·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for subaltern

British Dictionary definitions for subaltern

subaltern
/ (ˈsʌbəltən) /

noun

a commissioned officer below the rank of captain in certain armies, esp the British
a person of inferior rank or position
logic
  1. the relation of one proposition to another when the first is implied by the second, esp the relation of a particular to a universal proposition
  2. (as modifier)a subaltern relation

adjective

of inferior position or rank

Word Origin for subaltern

C16: from Late Latin subalternus, from Latin sub- + alternus alternate, from alter the other
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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