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Denotation vs. Connotation

subdue

[suh b-doo, -dyoo] /səbˈdu, -ˈdyu/
verb (used with object), subdued, subduing.
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; render submissive.
4.
to repress (feelings, impulses, etc.).
5.
to bring (land) under cultivation:
to subdue the wilderness.
6.
to reduce the intensity, force, or vividness of (sound, light, color, etc.); tone down; soften.
7.
to allay (inflammation, infection, etc.).
Origin of subdue
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English so(b)duen, so(b)dewen < Anglo-French *soduer to overcome, Old French soduire to deceive, seduce < Latin subdūcere to withdraw (see subduct); meaning in E (and Anglo-French) < Latin subdere to place beneath, subdue
Related forms
subduable, adjective
subduableness, noun
subduably, adverb
subduer, noun
subduingly, adverb
presubdue, verb (used with object), presubdued, presubduing.
unsubduable, adjective
Synonyms
1. subjugate, vanquish. See defeat. 3. tame, break, discipline. 3, 4. suppress.
Antonyms
4. awaken, arouse. 6. intensify.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for subdue
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She looked at him with a nervous repugnance to his appearance, which she tried to subdue.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • Oh, strong, strong are the ties of flesh, and hard it is to subdue the spirit!

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • He was imprisoned on account of his enthusiastic and chivalrous loyalty; but no dungeon could subdue his buoyant spirit.

  • He was as utterly unable to prevent or subdue this fear, as he was to prevent his breathing.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • In scriptural language, to subdue; to mortify; to destroy the power or ruling influence of.

    The Christ John Eleazer Remsburg
British Dictionary definitions for subdue

subdue

/səbˈdjuː/
verb (transitive) -dues, -duing, -dued
1.
to establish ascendancy over by force
2.
to overcome and bring under control, as by intimidation or persuasion
3.
to hold in check or repress (feelings, emotions, etc)
4.
to render less intense or less conspicuous
Derived Forms
subduable, adjective
subduably, adverb
subdual, noun
Word Origin
C14 sobdue, from Old French soduire to mislead, from Latin subdūcere to remove; English sense influenced by Latin subdere to subject
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 subdue
v.

late 14c., "to conquer," from Old French souduire "deceive, seduce," from Latin subducere "draw, lead away, withdraw" (see subduce). The sense seems to have been taken in Anglo-French from Latin subdere. Subduct in the sense of "subtract" is from 1570s. Related: Subdued; subduing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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