Origin of subversiveMedieval Latin subversivus from Classical Latin subversus, past participle of subvertere: see subvert
The definition of subversive is something that is trying to destroy or overthrow something like a government or an idea.
An example of subversive is propaganda writing.
tending or seeking to subvert, overthrow, or destroy (an established government, institution, belief, etc.)
a person regarded as subversive
Intending or intended to subvert an established order, especially to undermine or overthrow an established government: subversive groups; subversive publications.
One who advocates or is regarded as advocating subversion.
(comparative more subversive, superlative most subversive)
See to subvert.
- He became a journalist, and at an early stage of his career had the first of his many experiences of imprisonment for the subversive tendency of his writings.
- The war policy of the Government was declared to be primarily the protection of Islam, particularly Turkish Islam, against the hostile and dangerously subversive policy of Great Britain.
- The large majority chose the latter; and thus 1,800 officers were retired on small pensions, and became a dangerous leaven for all subversive activities against the Government.
- A new commission was now appointed to inquire into alleged abuses in Wales, and the existing evidence clearly shows how harsh and unfair was the treatment meted out to the clergy under the act of 1649, and also how utterly subversive of all ancient custom and established order were the reforms suggested by the commissioners and approvers.
- But as Locke's philosophy became in France sensationalism, and as Locke's pregnant question, reiterated by Collins, how we know that the divine power might not confer thought on matter, led the way to dogmatic materialism, so deism soon gave way to forms of thought more directly and completely subversive of the traditional theology.