subordinate clause

noun Grammar.

a clause that modifies the principal clause or some part of it or that serves a noun function in the principal clause, as when she arrived in the sentence I was there when she arrived or that she has arrived in the sentence I doubt that she has arrived.

Nearby words

  1. suborbital,
  2. suborder,
  3. subordinal,
  4. subordinary,
  5. subordinate,
  6. subordinated,
  7. subordinated debt,
  8. subordinating conjunction,
  9. subordination,
  10. subordinationism

Compare main clause.

Also called de·pend·ent clause. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for subordinate clause

subordinate clause


grammar a clause with an adjectival, adverbial, or nominal function, rather than one that functions as a separate sentence in its own rightCompare coordinate clause, main clause
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