Definition of subalternate in English:



  • 1Subordinate, inferior, or subservient (to); = "subaltern". Now chiefly US.

  • 2Philosophy and Theology. In Aristotelian and scholastic philosophy: designating a science which is subordinate to a higher science from which axioms can be drawn.

  • 3Designating both of a pair of propositions consisting of a universal proposition and a particular proposition having the same subject and predicate and being of the same quality (i.e. affirmative or negative); designating the particular proposition of such a pair.

  • 4A genus which is itself a species of a higher genus.

  • 5Chiefly Botany. Alternate, but tending to become opposite; intermediate between alternate and opposite.


  • Logic. The particular proposition in a pair of subaltern propositions.


  • with object To subordinate (to), to make subaltern or subalternate; specifically (in Aristotelian and scholastic philosophy) to treat (a science) as subordinate to a higher science.


Late Middle English; earliest use found in Guy de Chauliac's Grande Chirurgie. From post-classical Latin subalternatus (in logic) subordinate, (in medical context) subordinate, use as adjective of past participle of subalternare subaltern<br>late 17th century; earliest use found in John Norris (1657–1712), Church of England clergyman and philosopher. From post-classical Latin subalternat-, past participial stem of subalternare (especially in logic) to subordinate.