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Subdue Definition and Meaning

By Tayyaba Rehman & Fiza Rafique — Published on April 22, 2024
Subdue means to conquer and bring into subjection; to overpower by force or persuasion. e.g., The general managed to subdue the rebellion swiftly.

Subdue Definitions

To overcome and bring under control by physical force or persuasion.
The police were able to subdue the suspect without any harm.
To soften or tone down; to make less vivid.
She used neutral colors to subdue the bright walls of the room.
To reduce the intensity or force of something; to make less intense.
She took medication to subdue her headache.
To bring into a condition of submission or control.
The wild horse was finally subdued by the experienced trainer.
To overcome or get the better of by superior force.
The team subdued their rivals in a decisive victory.
To hold back from expression, action, or practice; to restrain.
He had to subdue his urge to respond angrily.
To defeat or vanquish.
The chess master managed to subdue all his opponents in the tournament.
To diminish in strength or force; to suppress.
The firefighters worked tirelessly to subdue the raging wildfire.
To quiet or bring down feelings; to calm.
He read a book to subdue his anxiety before the interview.
To subjugate (a region or people, for example) by military force.
To bring under control by physical force, persuasion, or other means; overcome
Subdued the wild horse.
Subdued the rebellion in the party ranks.
To make less intense or prominent; reduce or tone down
I was unable to subdue my excitement about the upcoming holiday.
To bring (land) under cultivation
Farmers subdued the arid lands of Australia.
To overcome, quieten, or bring under control.
To bring (a country) under control by force.
To bring under; to conquer by force or the exertion of superior power, and bring into permanent subjection; to reduce under dominion; to vanquish.
I will subdue all thine enemies.
To overpower so as to disable from further resistance; to crush.
Nothing could have subdued natureTo such a lowness, but his unkind daughters.
If aught . . . were worthy to subdueThe soul of man.
To destroy the force of; to overcome; as, medicines subdue a fever.
To render submissive; to bring under command; to reduce to mildness or obedience; to tame; as, to subdue a stubborn child; to subdue the temper or passions.
To overcome, as by persuasion or other mild means; as, to subdue opposition by argument or entreaties.
To reduce to tenderness; to melt; to soften; as, to subdue ferocity by tears.
To make mellow; to break, as land; also, to destroy, as weeds.
To reduce the intensity or degree of; to tone down; to soften; as, to subdue the brilliancy of colors.
Put down by force or intimidation;
The government quashes any attempt of an uprising
China keeps down her dissidents very efficiently
The rich landowners subjugated the peasants working the land
To put down by force or authority;
Suppress a nascent uprising
Stamp down on littering
Conquer one's desires
Hold within limits and control;
Subdue one's appetites
Mortify the flesh
Get on top of; deal with successfully;
He overcame his shyness
Make subordinate, dependent, or subservient;
Our wishes have to be subordinated to that of our ruler
Correct by punishment or discipline
To pacify or quieten; to make peaceful or calm.
The teacher was able to subdue the noisy classroom quickly.

Subdue Snonyms


To gain victory over; to overcome by force.
The ancient empire conquered many lands.


To thoroughly overwhelm and reduce to submission or passivity.
The quick response helped to quell the disturbance.


To put an end to the activities of (a person, body of persons, etc.).
The government acted quickly to suppress the uprising.


To bring or restore to a state of peace or tranquillity; quiet; calm.
The agreement helped to pacify the hostile regions.


To make calm; to quiet.
He managed to calm the stormy sea with his experience.


To get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat.
She overcame her fears to win the competition.


To quell, crush, or end by force.
The team tried to stifle the opposition's offense early in the game.


To rule over; govern; control.
The more experienced player dominated the match from the start.


To wrap with something to deaden or prevent sound.
She muffled the alarm clock with a pillow to subdue its noise.


To make tame; domesticate; make gentle.
It took months to tame the wild parrot.

Subdue Idioms & Phrases

Subdue one's anger

To control or temper one's anger.
He had to subdue his anger before responding.

Subdue one's emotions

To control one's feelings.
She subdued her emotions to stay focused during the crisis.

Subdue the opposition

To overcome opposition or resistance.
The debate team worked hard to subdue the opposition.

Subdue one's pride

To humble oneself or control one's pride.
He had to subdue his pride to apologize.

Subdue the pain

To lessen or mitigate pain.
The medication helped to subdue the pain significantly.

Subdue the fire

To extinguish or bring a fire under control.
Firefighters were finally able to subdue the fire by morning.

Subdue one's voice

To quieten or lower one's voice.
The teacher asked the student to subdue his voice.

Subdue the crowd

To bring a crowd under control.
The event organizers managed to subdue the crowd with promises of a later performance.

Subdue the storm

To calm or control a chaotic situation.
The captain managed to subdue the storm with his expertise.

Subdue one's fears

To conquer or overcome fears.
She subdued her fears and went on the stage to speak.

Subdue a smile

To suppress or hide a smile.
He could hardly subdue a smile when he heard the joke.

Subdue one's curiosity

To control or lessen one's curiosity.
She had to subdue her curiosity and wait for the surprise.

Subdue the desire

To control or suppress a desire.
He had to subdue the desire to leave the meeting early.

Subdue the excitement

To calm down excitement.
They had to subdue their excitement to not spoil the surprise.

Subdue the enemy

To defeat or overcome an enemy.
The soldiers had a plan to subdue the enemy by dawn.

Subdue the darkness

To illuminate or brighten darkness.
The lighthouse subdued the darkness around the shore.

Subdue the beast

To control or conquer something wild or dangerous.
The hero subdued the beast saving the village.

Subdue the chaos

To bring order to chaos.
It took hours to subdue the chaos after the blackout.

Subdue the rebellion

To quash or suppress a rebellion.
The government forces sought to subdue the rebellion swiftly.

Subdue the conflict

To resolve or lessen a conflict.
The negotiators aimed to subdue the conflict through dialogue.

Subdue Example Sentences

The principal was able to subdue the chaos in the hallways quickly.
She learned techniques to subdue her anxiety in social situations.
They are looking for ways to subdue the escalating conflict.
The team worked together to subdue the fire in the forest.
He managed to subdue his opponent with a surprising move.
The medication should help to subdue your symptoms.
It's important to subdue one's pride to learn from mistakes.
The artist uses dark colors to subdue the brightness of the painting.
She tried to subdue her laughter during the serious meeting.
It took a while to subdue the wild horse, but it was worth it.
He had to subdue his urge to argue and instead chose to listen.
They planned a strategy to subdue their rivals in the upcoming game.
They had to subdue their excitement to keep the secret.
The new policy aims to subdue the spread of misinformation.

Common Curiosities

Why is it called "subdue"?

"Subdue" comes from the Latin "subducere," meaning to draw from beneath, weaken, or lessen, reflecting the action of overcoming or bringing under control.

What is a stressed syllable in "subdue"?

The second syllable is stressed in "subdue."

How many syllables are in "subdue"?

There are two syllables in "subdue."

What is the verb form of "subdue"?

"Subdue" itself is a verb.

What is the root word of "subdue"?

The root word is the Latin "subducere."

What is the first form of "subdue"?

The first form is "subdue."

What is the second form of "subdue"?

The second form is "subdued."

How do we divide "subdue" into syllables?


How is "subdue" used in a sentence?

e.g., The teachers managed to subdue the commotion in the cafeteria.

What is another term for "subdue"?

Another term for "subdue" is "quell."

What is the pronunciation of "subdue"?

It is pronounced as /səbˈdjuː/.

What is the plural form of "subdue"?

Verbs do not have plural forms; "subdue" is used the same way regardless of the subject number.

Is "subdue" an adverb?

No, "subdue" is not an adverb.

Is "subdue" an abstract noun?

No, "subdue" is a verb, not a noun.

What part of speech is "subdue"?

"Subdue" is a verb.

Is "subdue" a negative or positive word?

"Subdue" is neutral; its connotation depends on the context.

Which determiner is used with "subdue"?

Determiners are not typically used with verbs. The use of a determiner with "subdue" depends on the noun it may be affecting in a sentence.

Which vowel is used before "subdue"?

The use of vowels before "subdue" depends on the sentence structure; "subdue" is a verb and is typically not directly preceded by vowels.

Is "subdue" a vowel or consonant?

The word "subdue" starts with a consonant.

Is "subdue" a countable noun?

"Subdue" is a verb, not a noun, so it is not countable.

Is the word “subdue” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

"Subdue" is a verb and thus neither a direct nor an indirect object, but it can act upon direct objects in sentences.

What is the third form of "subdue"?

The third form is also "subdued."

Is "subdue" a collective noun?

No, "subdue" is not a collective noun.

Is the word "subdue" imperative?

"Subdue" can be used in an imperative mood in commands or instructions.

Which article is used with "subdue"?

Articles are not typically used directly with verbs like "subdue." The use of an article would depend on the noun connected to the action of subduing.

What is the singular form of "subdue"?

As a verb, "subdue" does not have a singular or plural form; it remains "subdue."

What is the opposite of "subdue"?

The opposite could be "arouse" or "incite."

Is "subdue" a noun or adjective?

"Subdue" is a verb.

Is the "subdue" term a metaphor?

"Subdue" can be used metaphorically to describe overcoming or controlling non-physical challenges.

Is the word "subdue" a Gerund?

The gerund form of "subdue" would be "subduing."

Which preposition is used with "subdue"?

Prepositions such as "into" or "by" can be used with "subdue," depending on the context, e.g., "subdue into submission" or "subdue by force."

Which conjunction is used with "subdue"?

Conjunctions like "and" or "but" can be used in sentences with "subdue," depending on the sentence structure.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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