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subversive activity
subversive political action

Subvert definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

SUBVERT', v.t. [L. subverto; sub and verto, to turn.]
1. To overthrow from the foundation; to overturn; to ruin utterly. The northern nations of Europe subverted the Roman empire. He is the worst enemy of man, who endeavors to subvert the christian religion. The elevation of corrupt men to office will slowly, but surely, subvert a republican government.
This would subvert the principles of all knowledge.
2. To corrupt; to confound; to pervert the mind, and turn it from the truth. 2 Timothy 2.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: cause the downfall of; of rulers; "The Czar was overthrown"; "subvert the ruling class" [syn: overthrow, subvert, overturn, bring down]
2: corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality; "debauch the young people with wine and women"; "Socrates was accused of corrupting young men"; "Do school counselors subvert young children?"; "corrupt the morals" [syn: corrupt, pervert, subvert, demoralize, demoralise, debauch, debase, profane, vitiate, deprave, misdirect]
3: destroy property or hinder normal operations; "The Resistance sabotaged railroad operations during the war" [syn: sabotage, undermine, countermine, counteract, subvert, weaken]
4: destroy completely; "we must not let our civil liberties be subverted by the current crisis"

Merriam Webster's

transitive verb Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French subvertir, from Latin subvertere, literally, to turn from beneath, from sub- + vertere to turn more at worth Date: 14th century 1. to overturn or overthrow from the foundation ; ruin 2. to pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals, allegiance, or faith subverter noun

Oxford Reference Dictionary

v.tr. esp. Polit. overturn, overthrow, or upset (religion, government, the monarchy, morality, etc.). Derivatives: subverter n. Etymology: ME f. OF subvertir or L subvertere (as SUB-, vertere vers- turn)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Subvert Sub*vert", v. i. To overthrow anything from the foundation; to be subversive. They have a power given to them like that of the evil principle, to subvert and destroy.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Subvert Sub*vert", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Subverted; p. pr. & vb. n. Subverting.] [L. subvertere, subversum; sub under + vertere to turn: cf. F. subvertir. See Verse.] 1. To overturn from the foundation; to overthrow; to ruin utterly. These are his substance, sinews, arms, and strength, With which he yoketh your rebellious necks, Razeth your cities, and subverts your towns. --Shak. This would subvert the principles of all knowledge. --Locke. 2. To pervert, as the mind, and turn it from the truth; to corrupt; to confound. --2 Tim. iii. 14. Syn: To overturn; overthrow; destroy; invert; reverse; extinguish.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(subverts, subverting, subverted) To subvert something means to destroy its power and influence. (FORMAL) ...an alleged plot to subvert the state. = undermine VERB: V n

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

sub-vurt' (`awath; anatrepo): Occurs 5 t:

(1) in the sense of overturning, etc., as the translation of `awath, "to make bent or crooked" (La 3:36), "to subvert a man in his cause"; of anaskeudzo, primarily, "to pack up baggage"; then, "to ravage," etc. (Ac 15:24, "subverting your souls"); of anatrepo, "to turn upside down," "to overturn" (Tit 1:11, "who subvert whole houses," the Revised Version (British and American) "overthrow"); of katastrophe, "overthrow," "destruction" (2Ti 2:14, "to the subverting of them that hear");

(2) in the sense of perverting: ekstrepho, "to turn or twist out" "to turn about" (Tit 3:11, "such is subverted," the Revised Version (British and American) "perverted"). For "overthrown me" (Job 19:6) the Revised Version (British and American) has "subverted me (in my cause)," margin "overthrown me"; for "perverteth" (Pr 19:3), "subverteth."

W. L. Walker

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

v. a. 1. Overturn, overset, overthrow, reverse, upset, invert, turn upside down. 2. Destroy, ruin, overthrow, demolish, raze, extinguish, overturn, upset. 3. Pervert, corrupt, confound, destroy, injure.

Moby Thesaurus

accommodate, adapt, adjust, alienate, alter, ameliorate, answer, answer conclusively, argue down, arise, better, brainwash, break up, capsize, careen, change, confound, confute, contradict, controvert, convert, corrupt, counterindoctrinate, crush, culbuter, debase, defeat, deform, demolish, denature, deny, deprave, destroy, dismiss, dispose of, diversify, finish, fit, floor, honeycomb, improve, indoctrinate, insurge, insurrect, keel over, meliorate, mitigate, modify, modulate, mount the barricades, mutate, mutineer, mutiny, nonplus, overset, overthrow, overturn, overwhelm, parry, pervert, put to silence, qualify, re-create, realign, rebel, rebuild, rebut, reconstruct, redesign, reduce to silence, refit, reform, refute, reindoctrinate, reluct, reluctate, remake, renew, reshape, restructure, revamp, revive, revolt, revolute, revolution, revolutionize, ring the changes, riot, rise, rise up, ruin, run riot, sabotage, sap, sap the foundations, settle, shift the scene, shuffle the cards, shut up, silence, smash all opposition, squash, squelch, strike, throw down, throw over, tip over, topple, topple over, topsy-turvify, topsy-turvy, turn a somersault, turn over, turn the scale, turn the tables, turn the tide, turn topsy-turvy, turn turtle, turn upside down, undermine, upend, upset, upturn, vary, weaken, win away, work a change, worsen, wreck


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