follow Dictionary.com

It’s about time. We are now on Instagram!

subdued

[suh b-dood, -dyood] /səbˈdud, -ˈdyud/
adjective
1.
quiet; inhibited; repressed; controlled:
After the argument he was much more subdued.
2.
lowered in intensity or strength; reduced in fullness of tone, as a color or voice; muted:
subdued light; wallpaper in subdued greens.
3.
(of land) not marked by any striking features, as mountains or cliffs:
a subdued landscape.
Origin
1595-1605
1595-1605; subdue + -ed2
Related forms
subduedly, adverb
subduedness, noun
half-subdued, adjective
self-subdued, adjective
unsubdued, adjective

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
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. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for subdued
  • It's a kind of subdued magic, controlled and exquisite.
  • Each spiky point is a subdued representation of the magnetic lines.
  • At the end of the day, the war room is busy but subdued.
  • Think about what has characterized the past two years: relatively weak consumer sentiment and subdued spending.
  • Firms consistently provide the same set of answers for why hiring is so subdued.
  • All the three surviving chimps slept restlessly and the next morning, they were all subdued.
  • As a result, scientists might see activation where there was only a subdued circuit of cells.
  • For those expecting something subdued from the tour pro, the dancing and silly costume was well received.
  • The reporter was quickly wrestled to the ground, subdued and arrested.
  • But last week's observances were especially subdued.
British Dictionary definitions for subdued

subdued

/səbˈdjuːd/
adjective
1.
cowed, passive, or shy
2.
gentle or quiet: a subdued whisper
3.
(of colours, etc) not harsh or bright: subdued lighting
Derived Forms
subduedly, adverb
subduedness, noun

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for subdued
adj.

c.1600, "subjugated," past participle adjective from subdue. Meaning "calmed down, reduced in intensity" is recorded from 1822.

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for subdued

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for subdued

11
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with subdued