Subversion means overthrowing something, like a government or law, or it can mean corrupting someone’s personal morals, like making a vegetarian eat bacon by tricking her.

The Latin root subvertere means “to turn from below,” and when you turn something on its head in a sneaky way, that’s subversion. Imagine digging a hole in the ground, then covering the hole with a layer of sticks and leaves. When someone walks on it, they fall in. That’s the basic idea of subversion, attacking from below. People often use subversion to take down a corrupt government, and acts of subversion are a powerful way to protest injustice.

Definitions of subversion

n the act of subverting; as overthrowing or destroying a legally constituted government

subversive activity
Type of:
the termination of a ruler or institution (especially by force)

n destroying someone's (or some group's) honesty or loyalty; undermining moral integrity

“the big city's subversion of rural innocence”
Type of:
debasement, degradation
changing to a lower state (a less respected state)

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