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verb (used with object)
  1. to overthrow (something established or existing).
  2. to cause the downfall, ruin, or destruction of.
  3. to undermine the principles of; corrupt.
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Origin of subvert

1325–75; Middle English subverten < Latin subvertere to overthrow, equivalent to sub- sub- + vertere to turn
Related formssub·vert·er, nounun·sub·vert·ed, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for subverted

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But did we not say that kingdoms or governments can only be subverted by themselves?



  • And they all swore to assist any one of their number whose kingdom was subverted.



  • Eleven more years were to roll before the Church was subverted.

    Henry VIII.

    A. F. Pollard

  • Under such conditions as mentioned, faith and love are subverted.

  • Every holy principle of her nature was subverted by this degrading assumption.

    Woman, Church &amp; State

    Matilda Joslyn Gage

British Dictionary definitions for subverted


verb (tr)
  1. to bring about the complete downfall or ruin of (something existing or established by a system of law, etc)
  2. to undermine the moral principles of (a person, etc); corrupt
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Derived Formssubverter, noun

Word Origin

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 subverted



late 14c., "to raze, destroy, overthrow," from Middle French subvertir, from Latin subvertere, from sub "under" (see sub-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus). Related: Subverted; subverting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper