See more synonyms for subbing on

Origin of subbing


  1. a submarine.
  2. a substitute.
  3. a submarine sandwich. See hero sandwich.
  4. a subcontractor.
  5. a sublieutenant.
  6. a subordinate.
  7. a subaltern.
  8. British. an advance against one's wages, especially one granted as a subsistence allowance.
  9. Photography. a substratum.
verb (used without object), subbed, sub·bing.
  1. to act as a substitute for another.
verb (used with object), subbed, sub·bing.
  1. Photography. to coat (a film or plate) with a substratum.

Origin of sub

by shortening of words prefixed with sub-

Regional variation note Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for subbing

Contemporary Examples of subbing

  • But is subbing him in for the embattled CEO anything more than a cosmetic change?

    The Daily Beast logo
    The BP Cast List

    The Daily Beast

    June 16, 2010

  • TV Newser hears rumor that for one night only, Arianna Huffington will be subbing for Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Ashley Dupre on 20/20 and other TV Highlights

    Nicole Ankowski

    November 16, 2008

Historical Examples of subbing

British Dictionary definitions for subbing


  1. short for several words beginning with sub-See subaltern, subeditor, submarine, subordinate, subscription, substandard, substitute, substratum (def. 6)
  2. British informal an advance payment of wages or salaryFormal term: subsistence allowance
verb subs, subbing or subbed
  1. (intr) to serve as a substitute
  2. (intr) informal to act as a substitute (for)
  3. British informal to grant or receive (an advance payment of wages or salary)
  4. (tr) informal short for subedit
  5. (tr) photog to apply a substratum to (a film or plate base)
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

Word Origin and History for subbing



shortened form of substitute, 1830; the verb in this sense is from 1853. Related: Subbed; subbing. From 1917 as short for submarine (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper