Definition of subdue in English:

Share this entry

subdue

Pronunciation: /səbˈdjuː/

verb (subdues, subduing, subdued)

[with object]
1Overcome, quieten, or bring under control (a feeling or person): she managed to subdue an instinct to applaud
More example sentences
  • That they did, but with such a heavy hand that the narcotic gas used to subdue the terrorists also accounted for over 100 hostages.
  • Blair passed over his best chance to subdue his friend and rival by moving him to the Foreign Office in the wake of the last election landslide.
  • The pair managed to subdue a man who was holding his ex-partner at knifepoint in front of their seven-year-old son.
Synonyms
conquer, defeat, vanquish, get the better of, overpower, overcome, overwhelm, crush, quash, quell, beat, trounce, subjugate, master, suppress, gain the upper hand over, triumph over, tame, bring someone to their knees, hold in check, humble, chasten, cow
informal lick, thrash, wipe the floor with, clobber, demolish, hammer, make mincemeat of, walk all over
curb, restrain, hold back, constrain, contain, inhibit, repress, suppress, stifle, smother, check, keep in check, arrest, bridle, rein in;
control, govern, master, quash, quell;
moderate, tone down, diminish, lessen, damp
informal lick, nip in the bud, keep a/the lid on
1.1Bring (a country or people) under control by force: Charles went on a campaign to subdue the Saxons
More example sentences
  • The main aim of the wars of new generation is to subdue other countries.
  • How can we possibly afford to subdue country after country in war?
  • He subdues the nations through bearing witness to the truth, suffering and offering his own life.

Derivatives

subduable

adjective
Example sentences
  • In other words, she becomes a subordinate and subduable version of the master.
  • Our ancestors had known that nature was not subduable and, therefore, had made it an obligation for man to surrender to nature and live in tune with it.
  • Godhead is the Lord of ‘maya’ the soul is subduable by the deluding or limiting energy (maya).

subduer

noun
Example sentences
  • By the end of the novel, Lovelace cannot but concede that she has become irretrievably independent of him, and he complains to Belford, ‘Oh the triumphant subduer!’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French suduire, from Latin subducere, literally 'draw from below'.

More
  • duct from mid 17th century:

    Duct comes from Latin ductus meaning both ‘leading’ and ‘aqueduct’ formed from ducere ‘to lead’. The verb has produced numerous words in English including abduct (early 17th century) to lead away; conduct (Middle English) lead with; conduit (Middle English); deduce (Late Middle English) draw a conclusion from something; duke; educate (Late Middle English) ‘lead out’; induce (Late Middle English) lead in; introduce (Late Middle English) bring into (a group etc); produce (Late Middle English) ‘lead forward’; reduce (Late Middle English) bring back; seduce (Late Middle English) lead away (originally from duty, with the sexual sense developing in the M16th); subdue (Late Middle English) ‘draw from below’.

Words that rhyme with subdue

accrue, adieu, ado, anew, Anjou, aperçu, askew, ballyhoo, bamboo, bedew, bestrew, billet-doux, blew, blue, boo, boohoo, brew, buckaroo, canoe, chew, clew, clou, clue, cock-a-doodle-doo, cockatoo, construe, coo, Corfu, coup, crew, Crewe, cru, cue, déjà vu, derring-do, dew, didgeridoo, do, drew, due, endue, ensue, eschew, feu, few, flew, flu, flue, foreknew, glue, gnu, goo, grew, halloo, hereto, hew, Hindu, hitherto, how-do-you-do, hue, Hugh, hullabaloo, imbrue, imbue, jackaroo, Jew, kangaroo, Karroo, Kathmandu, kazoo, Kiangsu, knew, Kru, K2, kung fu, Lahu, Lanzhou, Lao-tzu, lasso, lieu, loo, Lou, Manchu, mangetout, mew, misconstrue, miscue, moo, moue, mu, nardoo, new, non-U, nu, ooh, outdo, outflew, outgrew, peekaboo, Peru, pew, plew, Poitou, pooh, pooh-pooh, potoroo, pursue, queue, revue, roo, roux, rue, Selous, set-to, shampoo, shih-tzu, shoe, shoo, shrew, Sioux, skean dhu, skew, skidoo, slew, smew, snafu, sou, spew, sprue, stew, strew, sue, switcheroo, taboo, tattoo, thereto, thew, threw, thro, through, thru, tickety-boo, Timbuktu, tiramisu, to, to-do, too, toodle-oo, true, true-blue, tu-whit tu-whoo, two, vendue, view, vindaloo, virtu, wahoo, wallaroo, Waterloo, well-to-do, whereto, whew, who, withdrew, woo, Wu, yew, you, zoo
Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words