Definitions for subalternsʌbˈɔl tərn or, esp. for 3,6 , ˈsʌb əlˌtɜrn

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word subaltern

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

sub•al•ternsʌbˈɔl tərn or, esp. for 3,6 , ˈsʌb əlˌtɜrn(n.)

  1. a person who has a subordinate position.

  2. a commissioned officer in the British army below the rank of captain.

    Category: Military

  3. Logic. a particular proposition inferred from a corresponding universal proposition.

    Category: Philosphy

  4. (adj.)lower in rank; subordinate.

Origin of subaltern:

1575–85; < LL subalternus= L sub-sub - +alternusalternate


Princeton's WordNet

  1. subaltern(adj)

    a British commissioned army officer below the rank of captain

  2. junior-grade, lower-ranking, lowly, petty(a), secondary, subaltern(adj)

    inferior in rank or status

    "the junior faculty"; "a lowly corporal"; "petty officialdom"; "a subordinate functionary"


  1. subaltern(Noun)

    a subordinate

  2. subaltern(Noun)

    a commissioned officer having a rank below that of captain; a lieutenant or second lieutenant

  3. subaltern(Noun)

    A subaltern proposition; a proposition implied by a universal proposition. For example, some crows are black is a subaltern of all crows are black.

  4. subaltern(Adjective)

    Of a lower rank or position; inferior or secondary.

  5. Origin: From subalternus, from sub- + alternus, from alter.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Subaltern(adj)

    ranked or ranged below; subordinate; inferior; specifically (Mil.), ranking as a junior officer; being below the rank of captain; as, a subaltern officer

  2. Subaltern(adj)

    asserting only a part of what is asserted in a related proposition

  3. Subaltern(noun)

    a person holding a subordinate position; specifically, a commissioned military officer below the rank of captain

  4. Subaltern(noun)

    a subaltern proposition


  1. Subaltern

    A subaltern is a primarily British military term for a junior officer. Literally meaning "subordinate," subaltern is used to describe commissioned officers below the rank of captain and generally comprises the various grades of lieutenant. Ensign stands for standard or standard-bearer, therefore, was the rank given to the junior officer who carries, or was responsible for, the flag in battle. This rank has generally been replaced in Army ranks by Second lieutenant. Ensigns were generally the lowest ranking commissioned officer, except where the rank of subaltern itself existed.

Translations for subaltern

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


an officer in the army under the rank of captain.

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