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Meaning of subordinate

sub•or•di•nate

Pronunciation: (adj., n.su-bôr'dn-itv.su-bôr'dn-āt&sec), [key]
— adj., n., v., -nat•ed, -nat•ing.
—adj.
  1. placed in or belonging to a lower order or rank.
  2. of less importance; secondary.
  3. subject to or under the authority of a superior.
  4. subservient or inferior.
  5. subject; dependent.
    1. acting as a modifier, as when I finished, which is subordinate to They were glad in They were glad when I finished.
    2. noting or pertaining to a subordinating conjunction.
  6. submissive.
—n.
  1. a subordinate person or thing.
—v.t.
  1. to place in a lower order or rank.
  2. to make secondary (usually fol. by to): to subordinate work to pleasure.
  3. to make subject, subservient, or dependent (usually fol. by to): to subordinate passion to reason.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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