- The definition of subordinate is someone who is lower in rank to another or subject to another's control.
An example of subordinate is an army private who is under command of a general.
subordinate definition by Webster's New World
- inferior to or placed below another in rank, power, importance, etc.; secondary
- under the power or authority of another
- subservient or submissive
- Gram. having the function of a noun, adjective, or adverb within a sentence: a subordinate phrase
Origin: Middle English ; from Midieval Latin subordinatus, past participle of subordinare ; from Classical Latin sub-, under plush ordinare, to order: see ordain
subordinate definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Belonging to a lower or inferior class or rank; secondary.
- Subject to the authority or control of another.
- To put in a lower or inferior rank or class.
- To make subservient; subdue.
Origin: Middle English subordinat, from Medieval Latin subōrdinātus, past participle of subōrdināre, to put in a lower rank : Latin sub-, sub- + Latin ōrdināre, to set in order (from ōrdō, ōrdin-, order; see ar- in Indo-European roots).
- sub·orˈdi·nate·ly adverb
- sub·orˈdi·nate·ness, sub·orˌdi·naˈtion noun
- sub·orˈdi·naˌtive adjective