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Definition of "subdue" [sub•due]

  • To conquer and subjugate; vanquish. See Synonyms at defeat. (verb-transitive)
  • To quiet or bring under control by physical force or persuasion; make tractable. (verb-transitive)
  • To make less intense or prominent; tone down: subdued my excitement about the upcoming holiday. (verb-transitive)
  • To bring (land) under cultivation: Farmers subdued the arid lands of Australia. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "subdue" in a sentence
  • "But the harsh facts of human history belie this benign revisionist interpretation of the meaning of "subdue," and the preponderance of unambiguous passages in the Bible giving mankind dominion over nature's bounty argue against any idea that religion is environmentalism in disguise."
  • "Humans are told to "subdue" the earth and "rule over" the air, land and sea."
  • "But the harsh facts of human history belie this benign revisionist interpretation of the meaning of "subdue"."