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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 of subordinate
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. 9. lower, reduce.
Antonyms
2. superior; primary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for subordinate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In most savage religions there is a principal deity to whom the others are subordinate.

    History of Religion Allan Menzies
  • His subordinate officers may complain that they have had no fighting.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill
  • Whatever these may be, they are only a subordinate consideration.

    Problems of Expansion Whitelaw Reid
  • So he came at last to the distant camp of his subordinate comrades.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • With them at Scotland Yard are some seventy or eighty subordinate detectives.

    Scotland Yard George Dilnot
British Dictionary definitions for subordinate

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
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Word Origin and History for 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
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