"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[suh b-vurt] /səbˈvɜrt/
verb (used with object)
to overthrow (something established or existing).
to cause the downfall, ruin, or destruction of.
to undermine the principles of; corrupt.
Origin of subvert
1325-75; Middle English subverten < Latin subvertere to overthrow, equivalent to sub- sub- + vertere to turn
Related forms
subverter, noun
unsubverted, adjective
1. upset, disrupt, undermine, overturn, sabotage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for subvert
  • On this reading, the immunity law was needed to protect him from enemies who might otherwise subvert the will of the electorate.
  • If the client side package requires any download that can be detected and possibly used to subvert the system.
  • Her talent allowed her to subvert convention and redefine beauty.
  • Letting him keep the money seems to subvert the purpose of self-banning.
  • No matter how much you subvert the principles of engineering, it won't crumble.
  • The military leaders in the establishment are trying to subvert the will of the people.
  • They might then ponder how to live with the existing whaling laws, rather than subvert them.
  • It found that physical activity, even in small doses, may subvert genetic destiny.
British Dictionary definitions for subvert


verb (transitive)
to bring about the complete downfall or ruin of (something existing or established by a system of law, etc)
to undermine the moral principles of (a person, etc); corrupt
Derived Forms
subverter, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin subvertere to overturn, from sub- from below + vertere to turn
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 subvert

late 14c., "to raze, destroy, overthrow," from Middle French subvertir, from Latin subvertere, from sub "under" (see sub-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus). Related: Subverted; subverting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for subvert

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for subvert

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with subvert

Nearby words for subvert