- 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
- to conquer and bring into subjection: Rome subdued Gaul.
- to overpower by superior force; overcome.
- to bring under mental or emotional control, as by persuasion or intimidation; render submissive.
- to repress (feelings, impulses, etc.).
- to bring (land) under cultivation: to subdue the wilderness.
- to reduce the intensity, force, or vividness of (sound, light, color, etc.); tone down; soften.
- to allay (inflammation, infection, etc.).
Origin of subdue
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsunobtrusive, solemn, sober, mellow, low-key, restrained, muted, dim, dejected, shaded, domesticated, grave, chastened, tempered, moderated, repressed, crestfallen, domestic, downcast, neutral
Examples from the Web for subdued
Hip-hop and faith have a long and sometimes conflicted history; but it was often presented in nuanced or subdued ways.Down With the King: Christianity Isn’t Hiding in Rap’s Closet
December 28, 2014
The very brave vice principal, Sam King, who then jumped in, might have been killed before he subdued the 16-year-old suspect.Thank God the Murrysville School Attack Wasn’t Guns
April 9, 2014
By that time, more security arrived and subdued Frazier, who was arrested and hospitalized.Another Fatal Shooting in Las Vegas
John L. Smith
October 22, 2013
Even his standard line of attack against Hillary Clinton was subdued.Rand Paul: I’m Not My Dad
June 29, 2013
It's unlikely that only one man could have subdued three victims, so it makes sense to think of killers, not a single killer.Did the Boston Bombers Slit Their Friends' Throats?
April 30, 2013
As these occurred, a rustling and a murmur expressed the subdued applause.
And just from this came the subdued character of his demeanour!Weighed and Wanting
His voice echoed the subdued excitement of the room—excitement and new hope.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
But Stineli was too much excited to be subdued by any thing.Rico and Wiseli
But it was much that the subdued English folk appeared there at all.Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II
Charlotte Mary Yonge
- cowed, passive, or shy
- gentle or quieta subdued whisper
- (of colours, etc) not harsh or brightsubdued lighting
- to establish ascendancy over by force
- to overcome and bring under control, as by intimidation or persuasion
- to hold in check or repress (feelings, emotions, etc)
- to render less intense or less conspicuous
Word Origin and History for subdued
c.1600, "subjugated," past participle adjective from subdue. Meaning "calmed down, reduced in intensity" is recorded from 1822.
late 14c., "to conquer," from Old French souduire "deceive, seduce," from Latin subducere "draw, lead away, withdraw" (see subduce). The sense seems to have been taken in Anglo-French from Latin subdere. Subduct in the sense of "subtract" is from 1570s. Related: Subdued; subduing.