[ suhb-vur-siv ]
/ səbˈvɜr sɪv /


Also sub·ver·sion·ar·y [suhb-vur-zhuh-ner-ee, -shuh-] /səbˈvɜr ʒəˌnɛr i, -ʃə-/. tending or intending to subvert or overthrow, destroy, or undermine an established or existing system, especially a legally constituted government or a set of beliefs.


a person who adopts subversive principles or policies.

Origin of subversive

1635–45; < Latin subvers(us) (past participle of subvertere to subvert) + -ive

OTHER WORDS FROM subversive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for subversive

British Dictionary definitions for subversive

/ (səbˈvɜːsɪv) /


liable to subvert or overthrow a government, legally constituted institution, etc


a person engaged in subversive activities, etc

Derived forms of subversive

subversively, adverbsubversiveness, noun
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