subcommittee (n.) Look up subcommittee at
also sub-committee, c. 1600, from sub- + committee.
subconscious (adj.) Look up subconscious at
1823, "not wholly conscious, feebly conscious" (implied in subconsciously), from sub- + conscious. First attested in De Quincey. The noun, in the psychological sense ("mental processes taking place without consciousness"), is attested from 1886, from adjectival sense "occurring in the mind, but not in consciousness;" earlier noun was subconsciousness (1845).
subcontinent (n.) Look up subcontinent at
also sub-continent, 1845, from sub- + continent (n.). Related: Subcontinental.
subcontract (n.) Look up subcontract at
also sub-contract, "contract for carrying out all or part of a previous contract," 1817, from sub- + contract (n.). As a verb from 1828 (in Shakespeare it means "be betrothed again"). Related: Subcontracted; subcontracting.
subcontractor (n.) Look up subcontractor at
1810, from sub- + contractor, or else an agent noun from subcontract.
subculture (n.) Look up subculture at
1886, in reference to bacterial cultures, from sub- + culture (n.). From 1922 in reference to human cultures.
subcutaneous (adj.) Look up subcutaneous at
also sub-cutaneous, "under the skin," 1650s, from sub- + cutaneous. Related: Subcutaneously.
subdenomination (n.) Look up subdenomination at
also sub-denomination, 1620s, from sub- + denomination.
subdivide (v.) Look up subdivide at
early 15c. (transitive), from Late Latin subdividere from sub in the sense of "resulting from further division" (see sub-) + Latin dividere (see division). Intransitive sense is from 1590s.
subdivision (n.) Look up subdivision at
early 15c., "process of dividing into smaller parts;" mid-15c., "portion of land that has been divided," noun of action from subdivide. Sense of "plot of land broken into lots for housing development" is from 1911.
subdominant (n.) Look up subdominant at
also sub-dominant, 1793, in music, from sub- + dominant (n.).
subduce (v.) Look up subduce at
mid-15c., "to delete;" 1540s, "to withdraw oneself" (from a place, allegiance, etc.), from Latin subducere "to draw away, withdraw, remove," from sub- (see sub-) + ducere "to lead" (see duke (n.)). Related: Subduced; subducing.
subduct (v.) Look up subduct at
1570s, "subtract," from Latin subductus, past participle of subducere "to draw away, take away" (see subduce). Geological sense is from 1971, a back-formation from subduction. Related: Subducted; subducting.
subduction (n.) Look up subduction at
early 15c., "withdrawal, removal" (originally of noxious substances from the body), from Latin subductionem (nominative subductio) "a withdrawal, drawing up, hauling ashore," noun of action from past participle stem of subducere "to draw away, take away" (see subduce). Geological sense is attested from 1970, from French (1951).
subdue (v.) Look up subdue at
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).
subdued (adj.) Look up subdued at
c. 1600, "subjugated," past participle adjective from subdue. Meaning "calmed down, reduced in intensity" is recorded from 1822.
subfusc (adj.) Look up subfusc at
"moderately dark, brownish," 1710, from Latin subfuscus, variant of suffuscus, from sub- (see sub-) + fuscus "dark, dusky" (see obfuscate). Related: Subfuscous "dusky."
subgroup (n.) Look up subgroup at
also sub-group, 1825, from sub- + group (n.).
subhead (n.) Look up subhead at
"smaller heading or title in a book, chapter, newspaper, etc.," 1875, from sub- + head (n.) in the sense of "heading, headline." Meaning "subordinate section of a subject" is from 1670s.
subhuman (adj.) Look up subhuman at
1790, from sub- + human. The noun is first recorded 1957.
subjacent (adj.) Look up subjacent at
1590s, from Latin subiacentem (nominative subiacens) "lying beneath," present participle of subiacere "to lie underneath, lie near, adjoin," from sub- "under," also "close to" (see sub-) + iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)).
subject (n.) Look up subject at
early 14c., "person under control or dominion of another," specifically a government or ruler, from Old French sogit, suget, subget "a subject person or thing" (12c., Modern French sujet), from noun use of Latin subiectus "lying under, below, near bordering on," figuratively "subjected, subdued," past participle of subicere, subiicere "to place under, throw under, bind under; to make subject, subordinate," from sub "under" (see sub-) + combining form of iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). In 14c., sugges, sogetis, subgit, sugette; form re-Latinized in English 16c.

Meaning "person or thing regarded as recipient of action, one that may be acted upon" is recorded from 1590s. Grammatical sense is recorded from 1630s, from Latin subjectum "grammatical subject," noun use of the neuter of the Latin past participle. Likewise some restricted uses in logic and philosophy are borrowed directly from Latin subjectum as "foundation or subject of a proposition," a loan-translation of Aristotle's to hypokeimenon. Meaning "subject matter of an art or science" is attested from 1540s, probably short for subject matter (late 14c.), which is from Medieval Latin subjecta materia, a loan translation of Greek hypokeimene hyle (Aristotle), literally "that which lies beneath."
subject (v.) Look up subject at
late 14c., "to make (a person or nation) subject to another by force," also "to render submissive or dependent," from Medieval Latin subiectare "place beneath," frequentative of Latin subicere "to make subject, subordinate" (see subject (n.)). Meaning "to lay open or expose to (some force or occurrence)" is recorded from early 15c. (implied in subjected). Related: Subjecting.
subject (adj.) Look up subject at
early 14c., from Old French suget, subject (Modern French sujet), from Latin subiectus (see subject (n.)).
subjectification (n.) Look up subjectification at
1880, noun of action from subjectify.
subjectify (v.) Look up subjectify at
1858, from subject (n.) + -ify. Related: Subjectified; subjectifying.
subjection (n.) Look up subjection at
late 14c., "obedience, submission; servitude, bondage; lordship, control," from Anglo-French subjectioun, Old French subjection "submission; subjugation; inferior condition; captivity" (12c., Modern French sujétion), from Latin subjectionem (nominative subjectio) "a putting under," noun of action from past participle stem of subicere (see subject (n.)).
subjective (adj.) Look up subjective at
c. 1500, "characteristic of one who is submissive or obedient," from Late Latin subiectivus "of the subject, subjective," from subiectus "lying under, below, near bordering on," figuratively "subjected, subdued"(see subject (n.)). In early Modern English as "existing, real;" more restricted meaning "existing in the mind" (the mind as "the thinking subject") is from 1707, popularized by Kant and his contemporaries; thus, in art and literature, "personal, idiosyncratic" (1767). Related: Subjectively; subjectiveness.
subjectivism (n.) Look up subjectivism at
1845; see subjective + -ism. Recorded earlier in German (and Swedish). Related: Subjectivist.
subjectivity (n.) Look up subjectivity at
1803, from subjective + -ity. Popularized in Kantian terminology; compare French subjectivité, German subjektivität.
subjoin (v.) Look up subjoin at
"add to the end of," 1570s, from Middle French subjoin-, past participle stem of subjoindre, from Latin subjungere "to affix, append" (see subjunctive). Related: Subjoined; subjoining.
subjugable (adj.) Look up subjugable at
1850, from stem of Latin subiugare (see subjugation) + -able.
subjugate (v.) Look up subjugate at
early 15c., a back-formation from subjugation or else from Latin subiugatus, past participle of subiugare "to subjugate." Related: Subjugated; subjugating.
subjugation (n.) Look up subjugation at
late 14c., from Late Latin subiugationem (nominative subiugatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin subiugare "to subdue," literally "bring under the yoke," from sub "under" (see sub-) + iugum (see jugular).
subjugator (n.) Look up subjugator at
1795, agent noun in Latin form from subjugate.
subjunctive (n.) Look up subjunctive at
"mood employed to denote an action or state as conceived and not as a fact," 1620s, from earlier adjectival use of subjunctive (1520s), from Late Latin subiunctivus "serving to join, connecting," from subiunct-, past participle stem of Latin subiungere "to append, add at the end, place under," from sub "under" (see sub-) + iungere "to join" (see jugular). The Latin modus subiunctivus probably is a grammarians' loan-translation of Greek hypotaktike enklisis "subordinated," so called because the Greek subjunctive mood is used almost exclusively in subordinate clauses.
sublease (n.) Look up sublease at
also sub-lease, 1826, from sub- + lease (n.). As a verb from 1830s. Related: Subleased; subleasing.
sublet (v.) Look up sublet at
1766, from sub- + let (v.).
sublimate (v.) Look up sublimate at
1590s, "raise to a high place," back-formation from sublimation or else from Medieval Latin sublimatus, past participle of sublimare "to lift up." The word was used in English from 1560s as a past participle adjective meaning "purified, refined by sublimation." Chemical/alchemical sense of "heat a solid into vapor and allow it to cool again" as a way of extracting a pure substance from dross is from c. 1600. Related: Sublimated; sublimating. As a noun from 1620s.
sublimation (n.) Look up sublimation at
late 14c., in alchemy, "process of purifying by vaporizing then allowing to cool," from Medieval Latin sublimationem (nominative sublimatio) "refinement," literally "a lifting up, deliverance," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin sublimare "to raise, elevate," from sublimis "lofty, high, exalted; eminent, distinguished" (see sublime).
sublime (adj.) Look up sublime at
1580s, "expressing lofty ideas in an elevated manner," from Middle French sublime (15c.), or directly from Latin sublimis "uplifted, high, borne aloft, lofty, exalted, eminent, distinguished," possibly originally "sloping up to the lintel," from sub "up to" + limen "lintel, threshold, sill" (see limit (n.)). The sublime (n.) "the sublime part of anything, that which is stately or imposing" is from 1670s. For Sublime Porte, former title of the Ottoman government, see Porte.
subliminal (adj.) Look up subliminal at
1873, "below the threshold" (of consciousness or sensation), formed from Latin stem of sublime (Latin limen, genitive liminis) + -al (1)). Apparently a loan-translation of German unter der Schwelle (des Bewusstseins) "beneath the threshold (of consciousness)," from Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841), author of a textbook on psychology published in 1824. The scare over subliminal advertising came in 1957. Related: Subliminally.
sublimity (n.) Look up sublimity at
early 15c., "loftiness, exaltation, worthiness, nobility, glory," from Latin sublimitatem (nominative sublimitas) "loftiness, exaltation," from sublimis (see sublime).
sublingual (adj.) Look up sublingual at
1660s; see sub- + lingual. Compare French sublingual (15c.). Related: Sublingually.
sublunary (adj.) Look up sublunary at
1590s, "situated under the moon," hence "earthly, mundane" (old cosmology), from Modern Latin sublunaris, from sub- (see sub-) + lunaris (see lunar).
subluxation (n.) Look up subluxation at
"partial dislocation," 1680s, from Latin subluxationem (nominative subluxatio).
submarine (adj.) Look up submarine at
1640s, from sub- + marine (adj.).
submarine (n.) Look up submarine at
"submarine boat," 1899, from submarine (adj.). Earlier "a creature living under the sea" (1703). The short form sub is first recorded 1917. As a type of sandwich from 1955, so called from the shape of the roll. Related: Submariner.
submerge (v.) Look up submerge at
c. 1600 (transitive), from French submerger (14c.) or directly from Latin submergere "to plunge under, sink, overwhelm," from sub "under" (see sub-) + mergere "to plunge, immerse" (see merge). Intransitive meaning "sink under water, sink out of sight" is from 1650s, made common 20c. in connection with submarines. Related: Submerged; submerging.
submerse (v.) Look up submerse at
early 15c., "to submerge, plunge" (transitive), from Latin submersus, past participle of submergere (see submerge). Modern use (18c.) might be a back-formation from submersion. Related: Submersed; submersing.