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How to pronounce subdued (audio)


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Dictionary definition of subdued

Characterized by a subdued or restrained manner, behavior, or atmosphere.
"The subdued lighting in the restaurant created a cozy and intimate atmosphere."

Detailed meaning of subdued

It suggests a calm, quiet, or subdued quality that is less intense, energetic, or vibrant. When something or someone is described as subdued, it implies a sense of restraint, moderation, or a lack of exuberance or excitement. It can be applied to various aspects, such as emotions, colors, lighting, sounds, or overall ambiance. For example, a subdued conversation may be quiet and subdued in tone, lacking enthusiasm or strong emotions. Similarly, a subdued color palette might consist of muted or understated shades rather than bright or vivid ones. The adjective "subdued" often implies a sense of calmness, understatement, or a deliberate attempt to tone down or temper certain elements to create a more relaxed or peaceful atmosphere.

Example sentences containing subdued

1. The crowd grew subdued as the speaker took the stage.
2. She wore a subdued outfit to the funeral, opting for dark and muted colors.
3. After a long day, he entered his subdued apartment, seeking solace in the quiet.
4. The subdued music played softly in the background, enhancing the tranquil ambiance.
5. His subdued tone indicated his disappointment, but he remained composed.
6. The artist chose a subdued color palette for the painting, creating a sense of serenity.

History and etymology of subdued

The adjective 'subdued' finds its etymological roots in the Middle English word 'subduen,' which came from the Old French 'souduire' and the Latin 'subducere.' 'Subducere' combines 'sub' (meaning 'under' or 'below') and 'ducere' (meaning 'to lead' or 'to bring'). Thus, 'subdued' originally meant 'to lead or bring under,' often implying a sense of control or restraint. Over time, this term evolved to describe a state or manner marked by moderation and restraint, such as subdued colors, subdued behavior, or a subdued atmosphere. In contemporary usage, 'subdued' typically refers to something that is calm, restrained, or muted, contrasting with elements that are more vibrant, expressive, or intense. The word's etymology highlights its connection to the idea of bringing something under control or keeping it in check.

Quiz: Find the meaning of subdued

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Further usage examples of subdued

1. The party atmosphere gradually became subdued as the night wore on.
2. The subdued fragrance of lavender filled the air, promoting relaxation.
3. The storm left the landscape in a subdued state, with the once vibrant colors muted by rain and clouds.
4. Her subdued laughter was a stark contrast to her usual boisterousness.
5. The subdued applause indicated a mixed reception to the performance.
6. The subdued temperature during the winter months called for cozy sweaters and blankets.
7. The subdued reaction to the news revealed the gravity of the situation.
8. The subdued crowd respectfully observed the moment of silence.
9. He spoke with a subdued voice, conveying his empathy for the situation.
10. The subdued hues of the sunset painted the sky with a peaceful aura.
11. The subdued energy of the room made it ideal for focused work or study.
12. The subdued waves gently lapped against the shore, creating a soothing sound.
13. The fragrance of the flowers was subdued, yet still pleasant and delicate.
14. She entered the room with a subdued demeanor, avoiding eye contact.
15. The subdued lighting in the restaurant created an intimate ambiance.
16. After the argument, their voices grew subdued, and tension hung in the air.
17. His subdued reaction to the news surprised everyone.
18. The artist's palette consisted of subdued earthy tones.
19. The movie's soundtrack set a subdued, melancholic tone.
20. The subdued crowd quietly paid their respects at the memorial.
21. His subdued sense of humor often went unnoticed.
22. The rainy day cast a subdued mood over the city.
23. In the library, patrons spoke in subdued whispers.
24. Her subdued outfit matched the somber occasion perfectly.



muted, boisterous, lively, vibrant


Prefix sub-, SAT 13 (Scholastic Assessment Test), High School 9, Atmosphere and Mood

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