top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce subdue (audio)

Dictionary definition of subdue

To conquer, overcome, or bring under control, often through force, persuasion, or the exertion of power or authority.
"The firefighters worked to subdue the flames of the burning building."

Detailed meaning of subdue

When someone or something is subdued, it implies that resistance or opposition has been successfully tamed or suppressed, resulting in submission or compliance. Subduing can apply to various contexts, such as subduing a rebellious crowd with police intervention, subduing one's own fears through mental strength, or subduing an aggressive animal to make it more docile. This term underscores the idea of exerting influence, force, or authority to establish control or achieve a desired outcome.

Example sentences containing subdue

1. The magician used misdirection to subdue the audience's curiosity.
2. The therapist employed relaxation techniques to subdue the patient's anxiety.
3. The explorer had to subdue the wild jungle to forge a path through it.
4. The chef used a special sauce to subdue the spiciness of the dish.
5. The police used non-lethal methods to subdue the rioters.
6. The professor's knowledge helped subdue the student's confusion about the topic.

History and etymology of subdue

The verb 'subdue' has its etymological roots in Latin. It comes from the Latin word 'subducere,' which is a combination of 'sub' meaning 'under' and 'ducere' meaning 'to lead' or 'to bring.' In its original Latin form, 'subducere' meant 'to lead away' or 'to withdraw.' Over time, as the word evolved and found its way into English, it came to signify the act of conquering, overcoming, or bringing something or someone under control, often through force, persuasion, or the exertion of power or authority. The etymology of 'subdue' highlights the idea of leading or bringing something under one's influence, reflecting the historical and continued usage of the word to describe the process of gaining mastery over a situation or individual.

Quiz: Find the meaning of subdue

Try Again!


Further usage examples of subdue

1. The artist used light and shadow to subdue the intensity of the painting.
2. The coach worked to subdue the team's nervousness before the big game.
3. The judge had to subdue the courtroom when emotions ran high.
4. The astronaut had to subdue their fear during the mission in outer space.
5. The firefighter had to subdue the raging flames to save the building.
6. The negotiator's calming words helped subdue the tense hostage situation.
7. The manager needed to subdue the heated argument between employees.
8. The lifeguard acted quickly to subdue the struggling swimmer in distress.
9. The diplomat worked tirelessly to subdue the international conflict.
10. The chef used spices to subdue the blandness of the dish.
11. The scientist used a special formula to subdue the aggressive bacteria.
12. The teacher used humor to subdue the tension in the classroom.
13. The conductor's precise movements helped subdue the unruly orchestra.
14. The peacekeepers were sent to subdue the outbreak of violence in the region.
15. The police officer was able to subdue the suspect after a brief chase.
16. The chef used a marinade to subdue the strong taste of the fish.
17. The team worked together to subdue the opposing players.
18. The medication helped to subdue the patient's anxiety.
19. The coach worked to subdue the player's aggressive behavior on the field.
20. The soldier used his training to subdue the enemy combatant.
21. The therapist helped the client to subdue their negative thoughts and emotions.
22. The teacher worked to subdue the rowdy students in the classroom.
23. The security guard was able to subdue the intruder before they could cause any harm.
24. The musician played a calming melody to subdue the audience's restlessness.
25. The parent used a timeout to subdue their child's tantrum.



conquer, liberate, release, empower


Prefix sub-, Rejection and Renunciation, Rigor and Rebellion, Restraint and Moderation

bottom of page