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[suh b-vur-zhuh n, -shuh n] /səbˈvɜr ʒən, -ʃən/
an act or instance of subverting.
the state of being subverted; destruction.
something that subverts or overthrows.
Origin of subversion
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin subversiōn- (stem of subversiō) an overthrowing. See sub-, version
Related forms
antisubversion, noun
nonsubversion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for subversion
  • Fear holds me back, as the words espionage and subversion course through my head.
  • Late last year he was sentenced to ten years' jail for subversion.
  • He doesn't care if the government calls it subversion.
  • The book describes the regime's repression, corruption and incompetence at home, and its aggression and subversion abroad.
  • subversion and destruction of outdated repressive-patriarchal socio-political symbols and ideologies.
  • We all know that the science is settled, but this article is straight-out ideological subversion.
  • He was taken into custody, beaten and charged with subversion.
  • Some things are better handled outside public forums subversion is rot.
  • All of it is subversion of free markets and of an economy actually able to deliver what people want.
  • Midnight diamonds are both understated and edgy, adding a touch of subversion to an otherwise demure ensemble.
British Dictionary definitions for subversion


the act or an instance of subverting or overthrowing a legally constituted government, institution, etc
the state of being subverted; destruction or ruin
something that brings about an overthrow
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin subversiō destruction, from Latin subvertere to subvert
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 subversion

late 14c., "physical destruction, demolition, ruination," from Old French subversion, from Late Latin subversionem (nominative subversio) "an overthrow, ruin, destruction," from past participle stem of subvertere (see subvert).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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