Etymology
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subdue (v.)

late 14c., "to conquer and reduce to subjection," from Old French souduire, but this meant "deceive, seduce," from Latin subducere "draw away, lead away, carry off; withdraw" (see subduce). The primary sense in English seems to have been taken in Anglo-French from Latin subdere and attached to this word. Related: Subdued; subduing. As an associated noun, subdual is attested from 1670s (subduction having acquired other senses).

updated on December 19, 2013

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Definitions of subdue from WordNet

subdue (v.)
put down by force or intimidation;
Synonyms: repress / quash / keep down / subjugate / reduce
subdue (v.)
bring under control by force or authority;
Synonyms: suppress / stamp down / conquer
subdue (v.)
hold within limits and control;
subdue one's appetites
Synonyms: mortify / crucify
subdue (v.)
get on top of; deal with successfully;
Synonyms: overcome / get over / surmount / master
subdue (v.)
make subordinate, dependent, or subservient;
Synonyms: subordinate
subdue (v.)
correct by punishment or discipline;
Synonyms: tame / chasten
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.