subdue

To subdue is to hold back, put down, or defeat. A Doberman can be subdued with a bone, but subduing a yapping toy poodle can be a mail carrier's greatest daily challenge.

You can use the verb subdue in ways ranging from subtle to very forceful. If someone is angry, you might subdue him with kind words that overcome his anger. If someone is coming at you with a giant karate chop, you may be able to subdue her with a secret weapon — a knee-snap–heel-kick-floor-drop. Sub-, as in submarine means "below" and subdue means to bring low — to keep down literally or to calm down emotionally.

Definitions of subdue
  1. verb
    put down by force or intimidation
    synonyms: keep down, quash, reduce, repress, subjugate
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    type of:
    crush, oppress, suppress
    come down on or keep down by unjust use of one's authority
  2. verb
    put down by force or authority
    synonyms: conquer, curb, inhibit, stamp down, suppress
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    types:
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    blink, blink away, wink
    force to go away by blinking
    dampen, stifle
    smother or suppress
    choke back, choke down, choke off
    suppress
    hush, hush up, quieten, shut up, silence, still
    cause to be quiet or not talk
    burke
    get rid of, silence, or suppress
    silence
    keep from expression, for example by threats or pressure
    quell, quench, squelch
    suppress or crush completely
    muffle, repress, smother, stifle, strangle
    conceal or hide
    shush
    silence (someone) by uttering 'shush!'
    choke, suffocate
    suppress the development, creativity, or imagination of
    calm down, lull
    become quiet or less intensive
    shout down
    silence or overwhelm by shouting
    gag, muzzle
    prevent from speaking out
    type of:
    check, contain, control, curb, hold, hold in, moderate
    lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
  3. verb
    hold within limits and control
    subdue one's appetites”
    synonyms: crucify, mortify
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    types:
    mortify
    practice self-denial of one's body and appetites
    type of:
    check, contain, control, curb, hold, hold in, moderate
    lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
  4. verb
    correct by punishment or discipline
    synonyms: chasten, tame
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  5. verb
    get on top of; deal with successfully
    synonyms: conquer, get over, master, overcome, surmount
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    types:
    bulldog
    throw a steer by seizing the horns and twisting the neck, as in a rodeo
    type of:
    beat, beat out, crush, shell, trounce, vanquish
    come out better in a competition, race, or conflict
  6. verb
    make subordinate, dependent, or subservient
    synonyms: subordinate
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    type of:
    lour, lower
    set lower
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