Also found in: Thesaurus.
tr.v. sub·dued, sub·du·ing, sub·dues
1. To subjugate (a region or people, for example) by military force.
a. To bring under control by physical force, persuasion, or other means; overcome: subdued the wild horse; subdued the rebellion in the party ranks.
b. To make less intense or prominent; reduce or tone down: I was unable to subdue my excitement about the upcoming holiday.
3. To bring (land) under cultivation: Farmers subdued the arid lands of Australia.
[Middle English subduen, alteration (influenced by Latin subdere, to subject) of Old French suduire, to seduce, from Latin subdūcere, to withdraw (probably influenced by Latin sēdūcere, to seduce) : sub-, away; see sub- + dūcere, to lead; see deuk- in Indo-European roots.]