• synonyms


[suh b-dood, -dyood]
  1. quiet; inhibited; repressed; controlled: After the argument he was much more subdued.
  2. lowered in intensity or strength; reduced in fullness of tone, as a color or voice; muted: subdued light; wallpaper in subdued greens.
  3. (of land) not marked by any striking features, as mountains or cliffs: a subdued landscape.
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Origin of subdued

First recorded in 1595–1605; subdue + -ed2
Related formssub·dued·ly, adverbsub·dued·ness, nounhalf-sub·dued, adjectiveself-sub·dued, adjectiveun·sub·dued, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unsubdued

Historical Examples

  • But he came forth from prison as he entered it, unsubdued in spirit.

    The Works of Whittier, Volume VI (of VII)

    John Greenleaf Whittier

  • It was, he said, impossible to march into France with Navarre unsubdued in his rear.

    Henry VIII.

    A. F. Pollard

  • One was the presence of unsubdued and hostile Indian tribes.

  • He was unsubdued, but was too much dazed to be able to do anything more than swear at them all.

    A Spoil of Office

    Hamlin Garland

  • Her step had lost its spring, but her cheerful spirit was unsubdued.

    The Thorogood Family

    R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for unsubdued


  1. cowed, passive, or shy
  2. gentle or quieta subdued whisper
  3. (of colours, etc) not harsh or brightsubdued lighting
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Derived Formssubduedly, adverbsubduedness, 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

Word Origin and History for unsubdued



c.1600, "subjugated," past participle adjective from subdue. Meaning "calmed down, reduced in intensity" is recorded from 1822.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper