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

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

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

  5. Origin: [F. subalterne, LL. subalternus, fr. L. sub under + alter the one, the other of two. See Alter.]


  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

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for subaltern »


Find a translation for the subaltern definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these subaltern definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"subaltern." STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 6 Oct. 2015. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for subaltern? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for subaltern:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.