Definitions

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

  • adjective Intending or intended to subvert an established order, especially to undermine or overthrow an established government.
  • noun One who advocates or is regarded as advocating subversion.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Tending to subvert; having a tendency to overthrow and ruin: with of.

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

  • adjective Tending to subvert; having a tendency to overthrow and ruin.

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

  • adjective Intending to subvert, overturn or undermine a government or authority
  • noun a radical supporter of political or social revolution

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

  • adjective in opposition to a civil authority or government
  • noun a radical supporter of political or social revolution

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

See to subvert.

Examples

  • In the meantime, Nigerian security agencies have been investigating what they call subversive activities by some foreign correspondents.

    CNN Transcript Feb 9, 2007

  • It took the gay-rights movement 30 years to shift from the Stonewall riots to gay marriage; now its transgender wing, long considered the most subversive, is striving for suburban normalcy too.

    A Boy's Life

  • It took the gay-rights movement 30 years to shift from the Stonewall riots to gay marriage; now its transgender wing, long considered the most subversive, is striving for suburban normalcy too.

    A Boy's Life

  • It took the gay-rights movement 30 years to shift from the Stonewall riots to gay marriage; now its transgender wing, long considered the most subversive, is striving for suburban normalcy too.

    A Boy's Life

  • It took the gay-rights movement 30 years to shift from the Stonewall riots to gay marriage; now its transgender wing, long considered the most subversive, is striving for suburban normalcy too.

    A Boy's Life

  • Like all great art, his plays remain subversive because they have the power to pull us out of the routines and the regulations of our conventional lives.

    The Stratford Experience

  • If you or someone you know has engaged in subversive acts or thoughts, call 1-866-445-6580.

    Boing Boing: April 8, 2007 - April 14, 2007 Archives

  • A subversive is one who works to undermine the structures and shibboleths of society.

    A meme by any other name

  • In many cities there are movements for an easygoing "alternative carnival" which rests on the same historic roots, but is again subversive, funny and unrespectful.

    Boing Boing: July 9, 2006 - July 15, 2006 Archives

  • Calling opinions in this forum subversive is typical of neocon, nay, facist inability to separate church and state.

    Think Progress » Frist and Torture: What Did He Know and When Did He Know It?

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Have you been subversive today?

    January 31, 2009

  • I don't think I've ever been subversive :(

    January 31, 2009

  • Once you realise you're being subversive, you're no longer being subversive.

    January 31, 2009

  • Have you been subversive today, and perhaps forgotten?

    January 31, 2009

  • Maybe, but don't remind me because that'll ruin it.

    January 31, 2009

  • Is it more subversive not to admit you've been subversive or to admit you've been subversive?

    Never mind.

    February 1, 2009

  • overthrow and ruin. nice.

    October 5, 2011

  • I love the example that was used! As artists we tend to be very rebellious against the policies that enforced in society. So we write about the government being overthrown.

    October 5, 2011