- To subdue is defined as to gain control over someone or something or to calm or quiet someone or something.
An example of subdue is when you manage to calm angry protestors and gain control over the situation.
subdue definition by Webster's New World
- to bring into subjection; conquer; vanquish
- to overcome, as by persuasion or training; control
- to make less intense; reduce; diminish; soften; allay
- to repress (emotions, passions, etc.)
- to bring (land) under cultivation
Origin: Middle English subdewen (altered in sense and form by associated, association with Classical Latin subdere, to put under, subject) ; from Old French soduire, to withdraw, seduce ; from Classical Latin subducere: see subduce
subdue definition by American Heritage Dictionary
transitive verb sub·dued, sub·du·ing, sub·dues
- To conquer and subjugate; vanquish. See Synonyms at defeat.
- To quiet or bring under control by physical force or persuasion; make tractable.
- To make less intense or prominent; tone down: subdued my excitement about the upcoming holiday.
- To bring (land) under cultivation: Farmers subdued the arid lands of Australia.
Origin: Middle English subduen, alteration (influenced by Latin subdere, to subject) of Old French suduire, to seduce, from Latin subdūcere, to withdraw (probably influenced by Latin sēdūcere, to seduce) : sub-, away; see sub- + dūcere, to lead; see deuk- in Indo-European roots.
- sub·duˈa·ble adjective
- sub·duˈer noun