An example of subordinate is an army private who is under command of a general.
- 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 clause
Origin of subordinateMiddle English ; from Medieval Latin subordinatus, past participle of subordinare ; from Classical Latin sub-, under + ordinare, to order: see ordain
- to place in a subordinate position; treat as less important or inferior (to)
- to make obedient or subservient (to); control; subdue
- Belonging to a lower or inferior class or rank; secondary.
- Subject to the authority or control of another.
transitive verbsub·or·di·nat·ed, sub·or·di·nat·ing, sub·or·di·nates
- To put in a lower or inferior rank or class.
- To make subservient; subdue.
Origin of subordinateMiddle English subordinat, from Medieval Latin sub&omacron;rdinatus, past participle of sub&omacron;rdinare, to put in a lower rank : Latin sub-, sub- + Latin &omacron;rdinare, to set in order (from &omacron;rd&omacron;, &omacron;rdin-, order; see ar- in Indo-European roots).
- sub·or′di·nate·ness, sub·or′di·na′tion
(comparative more subordinate, superlative most subordinate)
- Placed in a lower class, rank, or position.
- Submissive or inferior to, or controlled by, authority.
- (grammar, of a clause, not comparable) dependent on and either modifying or complementing the main clause
- In the sentence, “The barbecue finished before John arrived", the subordinate clause “before John arrived" specifies the time of the main clause, “The barbecue finished".
- (countable) One who is subordinate.
(third-person singular simple present subordinates, present participle subordinating, simple past and past participle subordinated)