subordinate

A subordinate is someone who works for someone else. As a verb, to subordinate means to place or rank one thing below another. When you're doing a group project, sometimes you have to subordinate your ideas to the desires of the larger group.

The prefix sub- means "lower" and ordinate refers to an ordering of things. In the army, a private is subordinate to an officer. You can also say the private is a subordinate. When it's an adjective or noun, the word is pronounced "suh-BOR-duh-nit." When it's a verb, it’s pronounced "suh-BOR-duh-nate." Don’t subordinate one pronunciation to the other: they're both equally important.

Definitions of subordinate
  1. noun
    an assistant subject to the authority or control of another
    synonyms: foot soldier, subsidiary, underling
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    types:
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    associate
    a person with subordinate membership in a society, institution, or commercial enterprise
    bottom dog
    a person of low status
    cog
    a subordinate who performs an important but routine function
    man
    a male subordinate
    second banana, second fiddle
    someone who serves in a subordinate capacity or plays a secondary role
    type of:
    assistant, help, helper, supporter
    a person who contributes to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose
  2. noun
    a word that is more specific than a given word
    synonyms: hyponym, subordinate word
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    type of:
    word
    a unit of language that native speakers can identify
  3. adjective
    lower in rank or importance
    synonyms: low-level
    adjunct, assistant
    of or relating to a person who is subordinate to another
    associate
    having partial rights and privileges or subordinate status
    secondary
    belonging to a lower class or rank
    under
    lower in rank, power, or authority
    inferior
    of or characteristic of low rank or importance
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    Antonyms:
    dominant
    exercising influence or control
    ascendant, ascendent, dominating
    most powerful or important or influential
    controlling
    able to control or determine policy
    governing
    responsible for making and enforcing rules and laws
    overriding, paramount, predominant, predominate, preponderant, preponderating
    having superior power and influence
    possessive
    having or showing a desire to control or dominate
    sovereign, supreme
    greatest in status or authority or power
    superior
    (sometimes followed by `to') not subject to or influenced by
    superior
    of or characteristic of high rank or importance
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  4. adjective
    subject or submissive to authority or the control of another
    “a subordinate kingdom”
    Synonyms:
    submissive
    inclined or willing to submit to orders or wishes of others or showing such inclination
    low-level
    lower in rank or importance
    feudatory
    owing feudal allegiance to or being subject to a sovereign
    ruled
    subject to a ruling authority
    dependent, subject
    being under the power or sovereignty of another or others
    subservient
    compliant and obedient to authority
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    Antonyms:
    insubordinate
    not submissive to authority
    defiant, noncompliant
    boldly resisting authority or an opposing force
    contumacious
    wilfully obstinate; stubbornly disobedient
    disobedient, unruly
    unwilling to submit to authority
    mutinous
    disposed to or in a state of mutiny
    rebellious
    resisting control or authority
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  5. adjective
    (of a clause) unable to stand alone syntactically as a complete sentence
    synonyms: dependent
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    Antonyms:
    independent, main
    (of a clause) capable of standing syntactically alone as a complete sentence
  6. verb
    rank or order as less important or consider of less value
    “Art is sometimes subordinated to Science in these schools”
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    types:
    outclass
    cause to appear in a lower class
    type of:
    grade, order, place, range, rank, rate
    assign a rank or rating to
  7. verb
    make subordinate, dependent, or subservient
    “Our wishes have to be subordinated to that of our ruler”
    synonyms: subdue
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    type of:
    lour, lower
    set lower
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