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.
- Elizabeth rightly regarded the treaty of Westminster (January 16, 1756, whereby Great Britain and Prussia agreed to unite their forces to oppose the entry into, or the passage through, Germany of the troops of every foreign power) as utterly subversive of the previous conventions between Great Britain and Russia.
- 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.
- In this way the utilitarian method is freed from the subversive tendencies which Butler and others had discerned in it; as used by Paley, it merely explains the current moral and jural distinctions, exhibits the obvious basis of expediency which supports most of the received rules of law and morality and furnishes a simple solution, in harmony with common sense, of some perplexing casuistical questions.
- 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.