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[suh b-sahyd] /səbˈsaɪd/
verb (used without object), subsided, subsiding.
to sink to a low or lower level.
to become quiet, less active, or less violent; abate:
The laughter subsided.
to sink or fall to the bottom; settle; precipitate:
to cause coffee grounds to subside.
Origin of subside
1640-50; < Latin subsīdere, equivalent to sub- sub- + sīdere to sit, settle; akin to sedēre to be seated; see sit1
Related forms
[suh b-sahyd-ns, suhb-si-dns] /səbˈsaɪd ns, ˈsʌb sɪ dns/ (Show IPA),
subsider, noun
nonsubsiding, adjective
unsubsided, adjective
unsubsiding, adjective
Can be confused
subside, subsist.
subsidence, subsistence.
1. decline, descend, settle. 2. diminish, lessen, wane, ebb.
1. rise. 2. increase. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for subsidence
  • Even without an earthquake the levees are increasingly vulnerable because of the continued subsidence and sea level rise.
  • By a slow intermittent subsidence, islet after islet sank beneath the verdant swamps.
  • In areas where accretion exceeds subsidence, new land is created.
  • The agency failed to take subsidence into account when building levees.
  • Mines collapse and cause land subsidence, damaging homes and roads.
  • The article continues, giving the distinct impression that the danger is from sea level rises, not land subsidence.
  • Naturally, if you rely on tidal measurements where there is land subsidence or upheaval you will get false readings.
  • Even as the waters rise, many coasts will be sinking because of the subsidence that follows as cities suck up groundwater.
  • All of these places are particularly vulnerable to rising water levels or land subsidence.
  • Land subsidence is defined as the lowering of the land surface.
British Dictionary definitions for subsidence


/səbˈsaɪdəns; ˈsʌbsɪdəns/
the act or process of subsiding or the condition of having subsided
(geology) the gradual sinking of landforms to a lower level as a result of earth movements, mining operations, etc


verb (intransitive)
to become less loud, excited, violent, etc; abate
to sink or fall to a lower level
(of the surface of the earth, etc) to cave in; collapse
(of sediment, etc) to sink or descend to the bottom; settle
Derived Forms
subsider, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin subsīdere to settle down, from sub- down + sīdere to settle
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
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Word Origin and History for subsidence



1680s, "to sink to the bottom," from Latin subsidere "settle, sink, sit down or remain," from sub "down" (see sub-) + sidere "to settle," related to sedere (see sedentary). Meaning "to sink to a lower level, be reduced" is from 1706. Related: Subsided; subsiding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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subsidence in Medicine

subsidence sub·si·dence (səb-sīd'ns, sŭb'sĭ-dns)
Sinking or settling in a bone, as of a prosthetic component of a total joint implant.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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