- to overthrow (something established or existing).
- to cause the downfall, ruin, or destruction of.
- to undermine the principles of; corrupt.
Origin of subvert
1325–75; Middle English subverten < Latin subvertere to overthrow, equivalent to sub- sub- + vertere to turn
SynonymsSee more synonyms for subvert on Thesaurus.com
1. upset, disrupt, undermine, overturn, sabotage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for subvert
Yet Republicans will try to subvert the success by playing to their Obama-hating base.Obama Crushes the Neocons
November 25, 2013
Liu was convicted under Section 105 of the criminal code, or “incitement to subvert state power.”Obama, Don’t Let Xi Forget China’s Human Rights Record
June 8, 2013
FRC, he added, works through the political system rather than encouraging its members to subvert it.Is the Family Research Council Really a Hate Group?
August 17, 2012
Taken this way, revelers might be doing their best to subvert the manly paradigm.Ivy League After Dark
Rebecca Davis O'Brien
March 21, 2011
The majority of the British immigrants had no desire to subvert the State.The War in South Africa
Arthur Conan Doyle
Such men might try to subvert us, and, just possibly, might succeed.Adaptation
Dallas McCord Reynolds
Kings had made efforts to destroy its power and subvert its influence.Robert Toombs
Pleasant A. Stovall
"And you can not subvert facts, you know, father," added Agnes.My Terminal Moraine
Frank E. Stockton
What are the differences between overthrow, suppress, and subvert?English Synonyms and Antonyms
James Champlin Fernald
- to bring about the complete downfall or ruin of (something existing or established by a system of law, etc)
- to undermine the moral principles of (a person, etc); corrupt
C14: from Latin subvertere to overturn, from sub- from below + vertere to turn
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 subvert
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper