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 (səb-vûr′sĭv, -zĭv)
Intending or intended to subvert an established order, especially to undermine or overthrow an established government: subversive groups; subversive publications.
One who advocates or is regarded as advocating subversion.

sub·ver′sive·ly adv.
sub·ver′sive·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(səbˈvɜːsɪv) or


(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) liable to subvert or overthrow a government, legally constituted institution, etc
(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a person engaged in subversive activities, etc
subˈversively adv
subˈversiveness n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(səbˈvɜr sɪv)

1. tending to subvert or advocating subversion, esp. in an attempt to overthrow or undermine a legally constituted government.
2. a person who adopts subversive principles or policies.
[1635–45; < Latin subvers(us), past participle of subvertere to subvert + -ive]
sub•ver′sive•ly, adv.

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.subversive - a radical supporter of political or social revolutionsubversive - a radical supporter of political or social revolution
counterrevolutionary, counterrevolutionist, counter-revolutionist - a revolutionary whose aim is to reverse the changes introduced by an earlier revolution
dynamiter, dynamitist - a person who uses dynamite in a revolutionary cause
Girondin, Girondist - a member of the moderate republican party that was in power during the French Revolution; the Girondists were overthrown by their more radical rivals the Jacobins
freedom fighter, insurgent, insurrectionist, rebel - a person who takes part in an armed rebellion against the constituted authority (especially in the hope of improving conditions)
radical - a person who has radical ideas or opinions
Adj.1.subversive - in opposition to a civil authority or government
disloyal - deserting your allegiance or duty to leader or cause or principle; "disloyal aides revealed his indiscretions to the papers"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. seditious, inflammatory, incendiary, underground, undermining, destructive, overthrowing, riotous, insurrectionary, treasonous, perversive The play was promptly banned as subversive and possibly treasonous.
1. dissident, terrorist, saboteur, insurrectionary, quisling, fifth columnist, deviationist, seditionary, seditionist Agents regularly rounded up suspected subversives.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
هَدّام، مُخَرِّب
niîurrifs-; spillandi


A. ADJ [activity, literature, idea, group] → subversivo
the court found him guilty of subversive activitiesel tribunal lo declaró culpable de llevar a cabo actividades subversivas
B. Nelemento m subversivo
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


nsubversif/ive m/f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


adjsubversiv, umstürzlerisch; subversive elementssubversive Elemente or Kräfte pl
nUmstürzler(in) m(f), → Subversive(r) mf
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[səbˈvɜːsɪv] adj & nsovversivo/a
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(səbˈvəːt) verb
to overthrow or ruin completely (eg a person's morals, loyalty, arguments, a government).
subˈversion (-ʃən) , ((American) -ʒən) noun
subˈversive (-siv) adjective
likely to destroy or overthrow (government, discipline in a school etc). That boy is a subversive influence in this class.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in periodicals archive ?
China does all of this because it fears that the people will act subversively. The people operating within the government want to maintain their own power and even increase it.
"You may think you are doing something shocking and original by subversively affecting to be a member of the nobility of entertainment purposes, but it is nothing new.
Nam experimented with the Portapak and found an easier way of recording the moving image and created subversively entertaining works.
'Any act of requesting for foreign intervention outright or subversively by any party to be involved in determining the political affairs of this country is treason or betrayal of one's country,' he told reporters after lodging a report at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters, here, today.
I'm also sure that in the manager's eyes, Sterling doesn't necessarily need goals to prove his worth, as some believe, despite being quiet, he is subversively running the show -- I just don't see it.
One resident said: "My worry is that they will subversively manage to get this through somehow.
Lebanon's burgeoning drag culture, Imad told The Daily Star, is particularly groundbreaking because it elevates the discourse around queer activism and fashion in the country, and can be subversively uncomfortable.
Asked about cuts by the current Tory government, Nygaire, who trained as a nurse, says: "It's being done a bit subversively. Therefore the public don't really understand, though they recognise it's a massive service and it is close to their hearts.
Peppa Pig has been removed from one of China's most popular social media platforms, with state media saying that the character is being used subversively to encourage law-breaking.
At twenty-eight, Jen is the most strident, willing to protest on the streets or subversively, as well as waging cyberbattles, hacking her way into classified places and riling up fellow rebels in chat rooms.
She makes a compelling argument to frame Alva Ixtlilxochitl as a colonial subject who wielded humanistic rhetorical strategies so as to subversively present indian stories within a Hispano-Catholic framework.
At a time marked by forced confessions known as self-criticism, one young photographer, Wang Qiuhang, turned his camera on himself, subversively celebrating the self rather than suppressing it.