Adjective and Noun
  • (British) enPR: sə-bôʹdĭn-ət, IPA: /səˈbɔːdɪnət/
  • (America) enPR: sə-bôrʹdĭn-ət, IPA: /səˈbɔɹdɪnət/
  • (British) enPR: sə-bôʹdĭn-āt, IPA: /səˈbɔːdɪneɪt/
  • (America) enPR: sə-bôrʹdĭn-āt, IPA: /səˈbɔɹdɪneɪt/


  1. Placed in a lower class, rank, or position.
    • The several kinds and subordinate species of each are easily distinguished.
    Synonyms: lesser
    Antonyms: superior, superordinate
  2. Submissive or inferior to, or controlled by authority.
    • It was subordinate, not enslaved, to the understanding.
    Antonyms: insubordinate
  3. (grammar, of a clause, not comparable) dependent on and either modifying or complementing the main clause
    In the sentence “The barbecue finished before John arrived”, the subordinate clause “before John arrived” specifies the time of the main clause, “The barbecue finished”.
    Synonyms: dependent
    Antonyms: independent, main
  4. Descending in a regular series.
Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: subordinado
  • Russian: прида́точный

subordinate (plural subordinates)

  1. (countable) One who is subordinate.
    Synonyms: inferior, junior, report, underling, understrapper
    Antonyms: boss, commander, leader, manager, superior, supervisor
Translations Verb

subordinate (subordinates, present participle subordinating; past and past participle subordinated)

  1. (transitive) To make subservient.
  2. (transitive) To treat as of less value or importance.
    Synonyms: belittle, denigrate
  3. (transitive, finance) To make of lower priority in order of payment in bankruptcy.
Translations Translations

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