Etymology
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subordinate (adj.)

mid-15c., "having an inferior rank," from Medieval Latin subordinatus "placed in a lower order, made subject," past participle of subordinare "place in a lower order," from Latin sub "under" (see sub-) + ordinare "arrange, set in order," from ordo (genitive ordinis) "row, rank, series, arrangement" (see order (n.)). Related: Subordinance; subordinant; subordinately. For "of or pertaining to the classificatory rank of a suborder," subordinal (1842) is used.

subordinate (v.)

"to bring into a subordinate position to something else, to make of less value, to make auxiliary or dependent," 1590s, from Medieval Latin subordinatus (see subordinate (adj.)). Related: Subordinated; subordinating.

subordinate (n.)

"one inferior in power, rank, office, etc.," 1630s, from subordinate (adj.).

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Definitions of subordinate
1
subordinate (adj.)
lower in rank or importance;
Synonyms: low-level
subordinate (adj.)
subject or submissive to authority or the control of another;
a subordinate kingdom
subordinate (adj.)
(of a clause) unable to stand alone syntactically as a complete sentence;
a subordinate (or dependent) clause functions as a noun or adjective or adverb within a sentence
Synonyms: dependent
2
subordinate (v.)
rank or order as less important or consider of less value;
Art is sometimes subordinated to Science in these schools
subordinate (v.)
make subordinate, dependent, or subservient;
Our wishes have to be subordinated to that of our ruler
Synonyms: subdue
3
subordinate (n.)
an assistant subject to the authority or control of another;
Synonyms: subsidiary / underling / foot soldier
subordinate (n.)
a word that is more specific than a given word;
Synonyms: hyponym / subordinate word
From wordnet.princeton.edu