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See more synonyms for subside on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), sub·sid·ed, sub·sid·ing.
  1. to sink to a low or lower level.
  2. to become quiet, less active, or less violent; abate: The laughter subsided.
  3. to sink or fall to the bottom; settle; precipitate: to cause coffee grounds to subside.
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Origin of subside

1640–50; < Latin subsīdere, equivalent to sub- sub- + sīdere to sit, settle; akin to sedēre to be seated; see sit1
Related formssub·sid·ence [suhb-sahyd-ns, suhb-si-dns] /səbˈsaɪd ns, ˈsʌb sɪ dns/, nounsub·sid·er, nounnon·sub·sid·ing, adjectiveun·sub·sid·ed, adjectiveun·sub·sid·ing, adjective
Can be confusedsubside subsistsubsidence subsistence


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1. rise. 2. increase.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for subsidence

Historical Examples

  • They saw that it had reached its highest, but its subsidence had not yet commenced.

    The Giraffe Hunters

    Mayne Reid

  • The duration of the Cretaceous subsidence must have been very great.

  • And now to wait as patiently as may be the subsidence of the waters.

  • When subsidence slackened or ceased the land gained on the sea.

    The Elements of Geology

    William Harmon Norton

  • On the whole the Carboniferous seems to have been a time of subsidence in the West.

    The Elements of Geology

    William Harmon Norton

British Dictionary definitions for subsidence


  1. the act or process of subsiding or the condition of having subsided
  2. geology the gradual sinking of landforms to a lower level as a result of earth movements, mining operations, etc
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verb (intr)
  1. to become less loud, excited, violent, etc; abate
  2. to sink or fall to a lower level
  3. (of the surface of the earth, etc) to cave in; collapse
  4. (of sediment, etc) to sink or descend to the bottom; settle
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Derived Formssubsider, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin subsīdere to settle down, from sub- down + sīdere to settle
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 subsidence



1680s, "to sink to the bottom," from Latin subsidere "settle, sink, sit down or remain," from sub "down" (see sub-) + sidere "to settle," related to sedere (see sedentary). Meaning "to sink to a lower level, be reduced" is from 1706. Related: Subsided; subsiding.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

subsidence in Medicine


(səb-sīdns, sŭbsĭ-dns)
  1. Sinking or settling in a bone, as of a prosthetic component of a total joint implant.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.