[ suhb-spee-sheez, suhb-spee- ]

noun,plural sub·spe·cies.
  1. a subdivision of a species, especially a geographical or ecological subdivision.

Origin of subspecies

First recorded in 1690–1700; sub- + species

Words Nearby subspecies Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use subspecies in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for subspecies


/ (ˈsʌbˌspiːʃiːz) /

nounplural -cies
  1. biology a taxonomic group that is a subdivision of a species: usually occurs because of isolation within a species: Abbreviation: ssp

Derived forms of subspecies

  • subspecific (ˌsʌbspɪˈsɪfɪk), adjective
  • subspecifically, adverb

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

Scientific definitions for subspecies


[ sŭbspē′shēz, -sēz ]

  1. A subdivision of a species of organisms, usually based on geographic distribution. The subspecies name is written in lowercase italics following the species name. For example, Gorilla gorilla gorilla is the western lowland gorilla, and Gorilla gorilla graueri is the eastern lowland gorilla.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.