Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Belonging to a lower or inferior class or rank; secondary.
  • adjective Subject to the authority or control of another.
  • noun One that is subordinate.
  • transitive verb To put in a lower or inferior rank or class.
  • transitive verb To make subservient; subdue.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To place in an order or rank below something else; make or consider as of less value or importance: as, to subordinate temporal to spiritual things.
  • To make auxiliary or subservient to something else; put under control or authority; make subject.
  • In a lower order or class; occupying a lower position in a descending scale; secondary.
  • Inferior in order, nature, dignity, power, rank, importance, etc.
  • In law, a clause in a statute which, from its position or the nature of its substance, or especially by reason of grammatical relation as above indicated, must be deemed controlled or restrained in its meaning if it conflicts with another clause in the same statute.
  • Synonyms Subservient, minor.
  • noun One inferior in power, order, rank, dignity, office, etc.; one who stands in order or rank below another; often, one below and under the orders of another; in grammar, a word or clause dependent on another.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Placed in a lower order, class, or rank; holding a lower or inferior position.
  • adjective Inferior in order, nature, dignity, power, importance, or the like.
  • noun One who stands in order or rank below another; -- distinguished from a principal.
  • transitive verb To place in a lower order or class; to make or consider as of less value or importance.
  • transitive verb To make subject; to subject or subdue.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Placed in a lower class, rank, or position.
  • adjective Submissive to or controlled by authority.
  • adjective grammar, of a clause, not comparable dependent on and either modifying or complementing the main clause
  • noun countable One who is subordinate.
  • verb transitive To make subservient.
  • verb transitive To treat as of less value or importance.
  • verb transitive, finance To make of lower priority in order of payment in bankruptcy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an assistant subject to the authority or control of another
  • adjective lower in rank or importance
  • adjective subject or submissive to authority or the control of another
  • verb rank or order as less important or consider of less value
  • verb make subordinate, dependent, or subservient
  • noun a word that is more specific than a given word
  • adjective (of a clause) unable to stand alone syntactically as a complete sentence

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English subordinat, from Medieval Latin subōrdinātus, past participle of subōrdināre, to put in a lower rank : Latin sub-, sub- + Latin ōrdināre, to set in order (from ōrdō, ōrdin-, order; see ar- in Indo-European roots).]

Examples

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