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[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.
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.
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Examples from the web for subverting
  • subverting scientific knowledge for short-term gain.
  • subverting scientific knowledge for short-term gain.
  • By saving a species that is unable to survive without our intervention is subverting the natural process of evolution.
  • How to exploit expanded storage without subverting our mind attics.
  • They are frequently the best mechanisms for subverting the conservatism of traditional departments.
  • If you are doing this, for whatever reasons, you are subverting the group decision-making process.
  • It never quite enters into his mode of thinking that one group might be deliberately subverting the mythology of another.
  • They've already gone a considerable distance toward subverting it.
  • These clauses prevent rogue creditors subverting a restructuring.
  • Despite its stated goal of subverting hierarchy, the group's efforts will be hamstrung by infighting and power struggles.
British Dictionary definitions for subverting


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
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Word Origin and History for subverting



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
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