follow Dictionary.com

Write a Super Short Story to win an iPod!

subordinate

[adj., n. suh-bawr-dn-it; v. suh-bawr-dn-eyt] /adj., n. səˈbɔr dn ɪt; v. səˈbɔr dnˌeɪt/
adjective
1.
placed in or belonging to a lower order or rank.
2.
of less importance; secondary.
3.
subject to or under the authority of a superior.
4.
subservient or inferior.
5.
subject; dependent.
6.
Grammar.
  1. acting as a modifier, as when I finished, which is subordinate to They were glad in They were glad when I finished.
  2. noting or pertaining to a subordinating conjunction.
7.
Obsolete, submissive.
noun
8.
a subordinate person or thing.
verb (used with object), subordinated, subordinating.
9.
to place in a lower order or rank.
10.
to make secondary (usually followed by to):
to subordinate work to pleasure.
11.
to make subject, subservient, or dependent (usually followed by to):
to subordinate passion to reason.
Origin
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English (adj.) < Medieval Latin subōrdinātus past participle of subōrdināre to subordinate, equivalent to Latin sub- sub- + ōrdin- (stem of ōrdō) rank, order + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
subordinately, adverb
subordinateness, noun
subordination, subordinacy
[suh-bawr-dn-uh-see] /səˈbɔr dn ə si/ (Show IPA),
noun
subordinative
[suh-bawr-dn-ey-tiv, -bawr-dn-uh-] /səˈbɔr dnˌeɪ tɪv, -ˈbɔr dn ə-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
nonsubordinate, adjective
nonsubordinating, adjective
presubordinate, verb (used with object), presubordinated, presubordinating.
self-subordinating, adjective
unsubordinate, adjective
unsubordinative, adjective
Synonyms
2. ancillary. 8. inferior, subject. 9. lower, reduce.
Antonyms
2. superior; primary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for subordinates
  • Either way, he is willing to let subordinates shoulder the blame.
  • Although dominant females seek to monopolize reproduction, their efforts sometimes fail and subordinates may become pregnant.
  • The subordinates who will manage the nation have to be capable and competent and honorable.
  • In fact, the dominant females ordinarily eat a little more than the subordinates.
  • On the negative side, he is so vain that he prefers to shout at his subordinates than share credit with them.
  • Stan says he often spends time explaining product cycle times and inventory risk to his subordinates.
  • Some foes now travel in packs with a leader and subordinates.
  • subordinates report that he was better at bullying than managing risk, often verbally abusing those who challenged him.
  • He became angry when subordinates did not approach him on their knees.
  • There is no way a police officer can tell his subordinates to grant special perks, merely because the prisoner is well connected.
British Dictionary definitions for subordinates

subordinate

adjective (səˈbɔːdɪnɪt)
1.
of lesser order or importance
2.
under the authority or control of another: a subordinate functionary
noun (səˈbɔːdɪnɪt)
3.
a person or thing that is subordinate
verb (səˈbɔːdɪˌneɪt) (transitive) usually foll by to
4.
to put in a lower rank or position (than)
5.
to make subservient: to subordinate mind to heart
Derived Forms
subordinately, adverb
subordination, subordinateness, noun
subordinative, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin subordināre, from Latin sub- + ordō rank
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for subordinates

subordinate

adj.

mid-15c., from Medieval Latin subordinatus "placed in a lower order, made subject," past participle of subordinare "place in a lower order," from Latin sub "under" (see sub-) + ordinare "arrange" (see ordain). Related: Subordinance; subordinant.

v.

"to bring into a subordinate position," 1590s; see subordinate (adj.). Related: Subordinated; subordinating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for subordinate

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for subordinates

15
18
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with subordinates