subordinate


subordinate
subordinate adj Subordinate, secondary, dependent, subject, tributary, collateral are comparable when they mean placed in or belonging to a class, rank, or status lower than the highest or the first in importance or power.
Subordinate applies to a person or thing that is lower than another in some such essential respect as by being under his or its authority
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all officers of an independent army below the rank of general are subordinate officers

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Montholon, up to that moment subordinate to the Grand Marshal, was entrusted with the management of the Emperor's household— Maurois

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or by having a less important or less conspicuous place, position, or status in the scheme of a whole than some other member, part, or element
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the relation of dominating to subordinate features— Binyon

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ceremony is subordinate in the scheme of life, as color is in a painting— Ellis

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or by loss of independence and reduction to a lower or inferior position
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at that time considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings . . . subjugated by the dominant race— Taney

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it does tell us . . . why a complex of beliefs is dominant at one time and subordinate at another— Howe

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Secondary differs from subordinate mainly in suggesting a much narrower range of difference, for it implies a position or an importance that is just below what may be described as primary, main, chief, or leading
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what they actually believe is of secondary consequence; the main thing is what they sayMencken

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the valuation of an object is thus secondary to the apprehension of it— Alexander

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each stage of the climb from valley to intermediate shoulders and crags, to a secondary and thence to the highest point— W. O. Douglas

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In reference to order of development or derivation secondary is opposed to original or first and carries no necessary implication of inferiority in importance
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the secondary meaning of a word

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his primary tools, the fundamental cutting tools with which he makes his secondary tools— R. W. Murray

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Dependent (see also DEPENDENT 1) implies subordination to someone or something, but it also connotes the position or the status of one that hangs on, leans on, or relies on the other for support or for the provision of what is lacking in itself; thus, a dependent clause in a sentence is not completely intelligible apart from the main clause; a dependent child is not old enough to support himself and therefore must rely upon his parents or guardians. In its commonest use dependent implies a loss, through subjugation or through weakness, of one's independence; it therefore frequently stresses power- lessness or debasement more than subordination
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England, long dependent and degraded, was again a power of the first rank— Macaulay

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Maggie is not dependent on Honora—she could get a better job tomorrow— Cheever

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Subject definitely implies subordination to a dominant power but never carries, as subordinate sometimes carries, an implication of relative importance within a scheme of the whole; it often tends to suggest loss of those powers which imply a degree of freedom, responsibility, self-discipline, and self-sufficiency
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a subject race

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aristocracy is out of date, and subject populations will no longer obey even the most wise and virtuous rulers— Russell

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Tributary basically applies to peoples, races, or nations that have been conquered and made subject to another people, race, or nation and that are forced to pay tribute to their conquerors, but in more general use it is often interchangeable with subject
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no conquering race ever lived or could live . . . among a tributary one without begetting children on it— QuillerCouch

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In another sense it is also applicable to whatever has an outlet into another and larger thing of the same kind and thereby yields supplies (as a flow of water or material) which increase the size or importance of the latter
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the tributary streams of the Mississippi river

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the lane, receiving two tributary lanes from who should say what remote hamlets, widened out with this accession— Mackenzie

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Collateral implies a being side by side, but it suggests not equivalence in value but subordination of one through or as if through an indirect relation to or a loose connection with the other; thus, a collateral cause of a war, though by implication operative at the same time as the most important or primary cause, is subordinate to the latter; a collateral issue is not the main issue; a collateral descendant is not a direct or lineal descendant but one in a different line (as of a brother or sister)
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the union had engaged successfully in many collateral activities such as banking and cooperative housing— Soule

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the limiting of inquiry to the immediate, with total disregard of the collateral or circumstantial events— Foe

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Analogous words: *auxiliary, subsidiary, subservient, contributory, adjuvant: *accidental, incidental, fortuitous
Antonyms: chief, leading: dominant
subordinate n *inferior, underling
Antonyms: chief
Contrasted words: head, master, leader (see CHIEF)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • subordinate — subordinate, subordinated, subordination Debts or claims that have a lower status or priority than other debts or claims are subordinate. For example, creditor A may agree in a subordination agreement to have its claims on the cash flow or on the …   Financial and business terms

  • subordinate — sub·or·di·nate 1 /sə bȯrd ən ət/ adj 1: placed in or occupying a lower rank, class, or position 2: submissive to or controlled by authority sub·or·di·nate 2 /sə bȯrd ən ˌāt/ vt nat·ed, nat·ing: to assign lower priority to (as a debt or… …   Law dictionary

  • subordinate — [sə bôrd′ n it; ] for v [., səbôr′də nāt΄] adj. [ME < ML subordinatus, pp. of subordinare < L sub , under + ordinare, to order: see ORDAIN] 1. inferior to or placed below another in rank, power, importance, etc.; secondary 2. under the… …   English World dictionary

  • Subordinate — Sub*or di*nate, a. [Pref. sub + L. ordinatus, p. p. of ordinare to set in order, to arrange. See {Ordain}.] 1. Placed in a lower order, class, or rank; holding a lower or inferior position. [1913 Webster] The several kinds and subordinate species …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Subordinate — Sub*or di*nate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Subordinated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Subordinating}.] 1. To place in a lower order or class; to make or consider as of less value or importance; as, to subordinate one creature to another. [1913 Webster] 2. To make …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • subordinate — [adj] lesser, supplementary accessory, adjuvant, ancillary, auxiliary, baser, below par, collateral, contributory, dependent, inferior, insignificant, junior, low, lower, minor, paltry, satellite, secondary, second fiddle*, secondstring*, smaller …   New thesaurus

  • subordinate — ► ADJECTIVE 1) lower in rank or position. 2) of less or secondary importance. ► NOUN ▪ a person under the authority or control of another. ► VERB 1) treat or regard as subordinate. 2) make subservient or dependent …   English terms dictionary

  • Subordinate — Sub*or di*nate, n. One who stands in order or rank below another; distinguished from a principal. Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • subordinate — sub|or|di|nate1 [səˈbo:dınət US ˈbo:r ] adj [Date: 1400 1500; : Medieval Latin; Origin: , past participle of subordinare to subordinate , from Latin ordinare; ORDAIN] 1.) in a less important position than someone else ▪ a subordinate officer… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • subordinate — I UK [səˈbɔː(r)dɪnət] / US [səˈbɔrdɪnət] adjective * 1) having less power or authority than someone else He handed the case down to one of his subordinate officers. subordinate to: All members of the committee are subordinate to the chairman. 2)… …   English dictionary


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