Subdued meaning


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[ suhb-dood, -dyood ]

/ səbˈdud, -ˈdyud /


quiet; inhibited; repressed; controlled: After the argument he was much more subdued.

lowered in intensity or strength; reduced in fullness of tone, as a color or voice; muted: subdued light; wallpaper in subdued greens.

(of land) not marked by any striking features, as mountains or cliffs: a subdued landscape.



We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.

Question 1 of 8

Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?

Origin of subdued

First recorded in 1595–1605; subdue + -ed2




Words nearby subdued

subdual, subduct, subduction, subduction zone, subdue, subdued, subdural, subdural hemorrhage, subdural space, subedit, subeditor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Words related to subdued

hushed, unobtrusive, solemn, sober, mellow, low-key, restrained, muted, dim, dejected, shaded, domesticated, grave, chastened, tempered, moderated, softened, repressed, crestfallen, domestic

How to use subdued in a sentence

  • The result of all this subdued emotion is a movie that can be called stoic in the best sense of the word.

    Firth, Tucci face tragedy with restraint in ‘Supernova’|John Paul King|January 26, 2021|Washington Blade

  • It may have been a somewhat subdued, socially-distanced affair in Washington yesterday—LOWEST.

    After an Inauguration Day rally for the record books, what’s next for stocks?|Bernhard Warner|January 21, 2021|Fortune

  • The sensational coverage in China’s more nationalistic outlets and on social media contrasted with the more straightforward, subdued tone of other state media sources.

    Chinese state media is already using Capitol riots in its anti-U.S. narrative|Grady McGregor|January 7, 2021|Fortune

  • Against a subdued backdrop in stocks this week, the frenzy in cryptocurrencies shows no signs of slowing down.

    S&P 500 rallies to close the year at a record high|Karen Yuan|December 31, 2020|Fortune

  • It will be a more subdued holiday for a lot of us when, let’s be honest, we may be just too drained to want to cook — or clean — all day.

    Harissa-glazed turkey legs with sweet potatoes deliver big flavor on a budget|Becky Krystal|November 10, 2020|Washington Post

  • Lady Rose is also rather subdued in the premiere, which is a pity.

    What Downton’s Fashion Really Means|Katie Baker|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • Hip-hop and faith have a long and sometimes conflicted history; but it was often presented in nuanced or subdued ways.

    Down With the King: Christianity Isn’t Hiding in Rap’s Closet|Stereo Williams|December 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • In one episode, two undercover air marshals subdued and handcuffed the irate traveler in question.

    Solution to Seat Rage: No More Reclining|Will Doig|September 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Positioned next to this is a design that is much more subdued.

    Here Comes the Bride…In Flaming Red: Two Centuries of Colorful Wedding Dresses|Liza Foreman|May 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • The very brave vice principal, Sam King, who then jumped in, might have been killed before he subdued the 16-year-old suspect.

    Thank God the Murrysville School Attack Wasn’t Guns|Michael Daly|April 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • The intricate perforations of the lamp were inset with colored glass, and the result was a subdued and warm illumination.

    Dope|Sax Rohmer

  • Search with a one-twelfth-inch objective, using very subdued light.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd

  • Kazmah slightly raised his hand in greeting: the big ring glittered in the subdued light.

    Dope|Sax Rohmer

  • Even their military music was of a peculiarly soft and subdued character.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV.|Various

  • Even as he spoke, Gray had found the switch, and the apartment of Kazmah became flooded with subdued light.

    Dope|Sax Rohmer

British Dictionary definitions for subdued


cowed, passive, or shy

gentle or quieta subdued whisper

(of colours, etc) not harsh or brightsubdued lighting

Derived forms of subdued

subduedly, adverbsubduedness, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


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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
  2. verb

    put down by force or authority
    synonyms:conquer, curb, inhibit, stamp down, suppress
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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


    hush, hush up, quieten, shut up, silence, still

    cause to be quiet or not talk


    get rid of, silence, or suppress


    keep from expression, for example by threats or pressure

    quell, quench, squelch

    suppress or crush completely

    muffle, repress, smother, stifle, strangle

    conceal or hide


    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
  4. verb

    correct by punishment or discipline
    synonyms:chasten, tame
  5. verb

    get on top of; deal with successfully
    synonyms:conquer, get over, master, overcome, surmount
  6. verb

    make subordinate, dependent, or subservient
  1. Zbrush materials
  2. The district at forestville apartments
  3. Rwby trailer
  4. Daedalus class

Look up a word, learn it forever.

The adjective subdued refers to something, like a sound, that has a lowered intensity. Your loud conversation with a friend in the back of the classroom is likely to become subdued when the teacher passes out the exams.

The word subdued is related to the Latin word, subdere, which means "to subtract from." Something that is subdued has lost some of its strength or intensity. Subdued lighting might create a romantic mood at a restaurant. And a subdued child is one who is no longer having a fit. A subdued economy is probably pretty sluggish.

Definitions of subdued

  1. adjective

    restrained in style or quality
    synonyms:low-key, low-keyed

    under restraint

  2. adjective

    in a softened tone

    “a subdued whisper”

    synonyms:hushed, muted, quiet

    (of sound) relatively low in volume

  3. adjective

    quieted and brought under control

    “children were subdued and silent”


    very restrained or quiet

  4. adjective

    not brilliant or glaring

    subdued lighting”


    emitting or reflecting very little light

  5. adjective

    lacking in light; not bright or harsh

    subdued lights and soft music”


    devoid of or deficient in light or brightness; shadowed or black

sub·​due|\ səb-ˈdüHow to pronounce subdue (audio), -ˈdyü\

1: to get control of (a violent or dangerous person or group) by using force, punishment, etc.The troops were finally able to subdue the rebel forces after many days of fighting.He was injured while trying to subdue a violent drunk.

2: to get control of (something, such as a strong emotion)She struggled to subdue her fears.

transitive verb

1: to conquer and bring into subjection : vanquish

2: to bring under control especially by an exertion of the will : curbsubdued my foolish fears

3: to bring (land) under cultivation

4: to reduce the intensity or degree of : tone down


Meaning subdued

Even now he did not want to celebrate the New Year. Friends called who where, but Dmitry did not agree to any of the proposals. I'm tired of it. I decided to be alone. Alone, drink a bottle of champagne to the chimes and go to bed in the new year.

Joked Vadim. Only without orgies, please. Tomorrow Dasha will bring some kind of mymru. And let's finally shoot some porn.

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He was heavily alcoholic (as it turned out, since yesterday evening), and, as always, did not recognize me. My mother-in-law, Alevtina Ivanovna, hugged me tightly and put her sweet face up. For a kiss.

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