[suh b-soom]

verb (used with object), sub·sumed, sub·sum·ing.

to consider or include (an idea, term, proposition, etc.) as part of a more comprehensive one.
to bring (a case, instance, etc.) under a rule.
to take up into a more inclusive classification.

Origin of subsume

1525–35; < Medieval Latin subsūmere, equivalent to Latin sub- sub- + sūmere to take; see consume
Related formssub·sum·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for subsume

involve, incorporate, classify, contain

Examples from the Web for subsume

Contemporary Examples of subsume

Historical Examples of subsume

  • In the next place I subsume a cognition under the condition of the rule (and this is the minor) by means of the judgement.

  • It only remains to subsume each empirical event under its proper category.

  • Now under these laws the Judgement is determinant, for it has nothing to do but to subsume under given laws.

  • Similarly the actions of animal life depend upon and subsume the laws of organic matter.

    On the Genesis of Species

    St. George Mivart

  • In the same way the actions of a self-conscious moral agent, such as man, depend upon and subsume the laws of animal life.

    On the Genesis of Species

    St. George Mivart

British Dictionary definitions for subsume


verb (tr)

to incorporate (an idea, proposition, case, etc) under a comprehensive or inclusive classification or heading
to consider (an instance of something) as part of a general rule or principle
Derived Formssubsumable, adjective

Word Origin for subsume

C16: from New Latin subsumere, from Latin sub- + sumere to take
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 subsume

1530s, from Modern Latin subsumere "to take under," from Latin sub "under" (see sub-) + sumere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)). Related: Subsumed; subsuming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper