Definition of subversive in English:

subversive

Syllabification: sub·ver·sive
Pronunciation: /səbˈvərsiv
 
/

adjective

  • Seeking or intended to subvert an established system or institution: subversive literature
    More example sentences
    • Over 60 of its members, including its leader, were arrested and accused of espionage, subversive activities and other crimes.
    • He has even banned subversive activities such as opera, ballet and the circus.
    • Thus we have the makings of a quite subversive literary tradition that seeks to undermine the tightly controlled world of the urban elites.
    Synonyms
    disruptive, troublemaking, inflammatory, insurrectionary; seditious, revolutionary, rebellious, rebel, renegade, dissident

noun

Back to top  
  • A subversive person.
    More example sentences
    • By now known as a subversive and revolutionary, Marx was expelled from Paris, at the request of the Prussian authorities.
    • Gathering such information about the terrorists can be daunting, given the desire of most subversives to keep the organization small, stealthy, and secret.
    • By the term subversives they mean trade unionists, socialists and other campaigners.
    Synonyms
    troublemaker, dissident, agitator, revolutionary, renegade, rebel

Derivatives

subversively

adverb
More example sentences
  • So now we knew how to be professional but we also remembered how to be subversive, subversively female, subversively feminine.
  • Others, as conductors on the Underground Railroad, were more directly and subversively involved in securing freedom for slaves.
  • These voting procedures could subversively affect the outcome of the race in Minnesota.

subversiveness

noun
More example sentences
  • Aggressive linguistic subversiveness, which used to be his hallmark, has dwindled into charm; sheer amazement has become indistinct bemusement.
  • Such tactics were even praised by the Daily Telegraph recently as offering ‘an honest subversiveness which a conservative newspaper can admire’.
  • Playing Lucy Collins, the troubled daughter of the neighbourhood's petit bourgeois family, she constantly bristled with an insolent ennui and a mild subversiveness.

Origin

mid 17th century: from medieval Latin subversivus, from the verb subvertere (see subvert).

More definitions of subversive

Definition of subversive in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
noun
a powerful whirlpool in the sea