Definitions for subduesəbˈdu, -ˈdyu

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

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

sub•due*səbˈdu, -ˈdyu(v.t.)-dued, -du•ing.

  1. to conquer and bring into subjection:

    Rome subdued Gaul.

  2. to overpower by superior force; overcome.

  3. to bring under mental or emotional control, as by persuasion or intimidation.

  4. to repress (feelings, impulses, etc.).

  5. to bring (land) under cultivation.

  6. to reduce the intensity, force, or vividness of (sound, light, color, etc.); tone down; soften.

  7. to allay (inflammation, infection, etc.).

* Syn: See defeat.

Origin of subdue:

1350–1400; ME so(b)duen, so(b)dewen < AF *soduer to overcome, OF soduire to deceive, seduce < L subdūcere to withdraw (see subduct )


Princeton's WordNet

  1. repress, quash, keep down, subdue, subjugate, reduce(verb)

    put down by force or intimidation

    "The government quashes any attempt of an uprising"; "China keeps down her dissidents very efficiently"; "The rich landowners subjugated the peasants working the land"

  2. suppress, stamp down, inhibit, subdue, conquer, curb(verb)

    to put down by force or authority

    "suppress a nascent uprising"; "stamp down on littering"; "conquer one's desires"

  3. mortify, subdue, crucify(verb)

    hold within limits and control

    "subdue one's appetites"; "mortify the flesh"

  4. overcome, get over, subdue, surmount, master(verb)

    get on top of; deal with successfully

    "He overcame his shyness"

  5. subordinate, subdue(verb)

    make subordinate, dependent, or subservient

    "Our wishes have to be subordinated to that of our ruler"

  6. tame, chasten, subdue(verb)

    correct by punishment or discipline

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. subdue(verb)əbˈdu, -ˈdyu

    to force sb to stop being aggressive

    Police subdued the rioters with tear gas.


  1. subdue(Verb)

    To overcome, quieten, or bring under control.

  2. subdue(Verb)

    To bring (a country) under control by force.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Subdue(verb)

    to bring under; to conquer by force or the exertion of superior power, and bring into permanent subjection; to reduce under dominion; to vanquish

  2. Subdue(verb)

    to overpower so as to disable from further resistance; to crush

  3. Subdue(verb)

    to destroy the force of; to overcome; as, medicines subdue a fever

  4. Subdue(verb)

    to render submissive; to bring under command; to reduce to mildness or obedience; to tame; as, to subdue a stubborn child; to subdue the temper or passions

  5. Subdue(verb)

    to overcome, as by persuasion or other mild means; as, to subdue opposition by argument or entreaties

  6. Subdue(verb)

    to reduce to tenderness; to melt; to soften; as, to subdue ferocity by tears

  7. Subdue(verb)

    to make mellow; to break, as land; also, to destroy, as weeds

  8. Subdue(verb)

    to reduce the intensity or degree of; to tone down; to soften; as, to subdue the brilliancy of colors

Translations for subdue

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to conquer, overcome or bring under control

After months of fighting the rebels were subdued.

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