—adj., n., v., -nat•ed, -nat•ing.
1. placed in or belonging to a lower order or rank.
2. of less importance; secondary.
3. subject to or under the authority of a superior.
4. subservient or inferior.
5. subject; dependent.
a. acting as a modifier, as when I finished, which is subordinate to They were glad in They were glad when I finished.
b. noting or pertaining to a subordinating conjunction.
a subordinate person or thing.
1. to place in a lower order or rank.
2. to make secondary (usually fol. by to): to subordinate work to pleasure.
3. to make subject, subservient, or dependent (usually fol. by to): to subordinate passion to reason.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.