What does subaltern mean?

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

Here are all the 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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Subaltern

    sub′al-tėrn, or sub-al′tėrn, adj. inferior: subordinate.—n. a subordinate: an officer in the army under the rank of captain: (logic) a specific class as included under a general one, or a particular statement as deducible from a universal one.—adjs. Subalter′nant, universal as opposed to particular; Subalter′nate, succeeding by turns: subordinate.—n. a particular proposition or a species, as opposed to a universal proposition or a genus.—n. Subalternā′tion. [Fr.,—Low L. subalternus—L. sub, under, alternus, one after the other, alter, the other.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of subaltern in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of subaltern in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Images & Illustrations of subaltern

  1. subalternsubalternsubaltern

Translations for subaltern

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"subaltern." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 24 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/subaltern>.

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