Definition of subside in English:



[no object]
  • 1Become less intense, violent, or severe.

    ‘I'll wait a few minutes until the storm subsides’
    • ‘The numbness spread quickly, and after I'd cleaned the cut the blood subsided to an ooze.’
    • ‘The pain in her ankle had subsided to nothing more than a dull pain, and she could walk on it now with no difference other than a slight limp.’
    • ‘The pour had subsided to a drizzle, and it was getting a whole lot less windy.’
    • ‘After muchos medication and sleep, it finally subsided to a regular migraine by about 7pm.’
    • ‘On the plus side, that meant her back was stronger and the pain had subsided to the point where she could bowl again.’
    • ‘The pain in my arm had subsided to a dull throb and we both fell asleep straight away, completely exhausted.’
    • ‘Along with the warm sunshine, the cruel headwinds of Bank Holiday Monday subsided to a light breeze.’
    • ‘Soon, the activity within the manor had subsided to an even drone.’
    • ‘The original burst of gunfire had subsided to two-way salvos, with one side firing far more rounds than the other.’
    • ‘The rain had suddenly subsided to a slight drizzle; fishing for his Marlboros and lighter in the other pocket, he slowly lit a cigarette.’
    • ‘My bawling subsided to soft sobs, then to just sniffles.’
    • ‘Calls came from not far away but I stayed silent, as my sobbing subsided to light hiccups, that soon grew faint.’
    • ‘They had waited all morning for a violent sandstorm to subside, but fear of being caught in the crossfire prompted Daham to leave despite the bad weather.’
    • ‘The normal bustling activity of the place had subsided to a murmur by this time of night.’
    • ‘Then Doctor Gregori was finished and the pain subsided to a dull throb.’
    • ‘As days and weeks passed, the hostility turned to resentment, which in turn subsided to mild grumpiness.’
    • ‘But after a minute, the pain had subsided to a dull throb.’
    • ‘The pain in my feet had subsided to a dull, throbbing pain.’
    • ‘After several minutes, the pain subsided to a dull ache in my rib cage.’
    • ‘She pulled them on; her tears now subsided to sniffles.’
    abate, let up, moderate, quieten down, calm, lull, slacken, slacken off, ease, ease up, relent, die down, die out, peter out, taper off, recede, lessen, soften, alleviate, attenuate, remit, diminish, decline, dwindle, weaken, fade, wane, ebb, still, cease, come to a stop, come to an end, terminate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Lapse into silence or inactivity.
      ‘Fergus opened his mouth to protest again, then subsided’
      • ‘Her coughing had subsided for the moment and she had lapsed into much needed sleep.’
      • ‘Its initial hisses of displeasure subside to contented silence.’
      • ‘The soft mumble of laughter and talk began to subside as I felt myself fall deeper.’
      • ‘When the faint tinkling of forks on china started to subside, I polished off the last few golden drops and headed back into the gathering.’
      • ‘When the noise subsides, I fall into conversation with the young man on my left.’
    2. 1.2subside in/into Give way to (an overwhelming feeling, especially laughter)
      ‘Anthony and Mark subsided into mirth’
      • ‘Here's a peasant woman subsiding into exhaustion after a punishing day's drive: ‘She sits on the fountain ledge as if she has been deposited there.’’
      • ‘When the laughter subsided into sporadic giggles, Hannah looked up at her best friend.’
      • ‘As Jean's family and friends assemble on the dust-choked incline, the mood has subsided into dejection, and hundreds perch on the walls around the cemetery, staring vacantly out across the hills.’
      • ‘They soon subsided into a bout of laughter while tears of mirth glistened in their eyes.’
  • 2(of water) go down to a lower or the normal level.

    ‘the floods subside almost as quickly as they arise’
    • ‘The flood water subsided within an hour, leaving Mr and Mrs Ingram with soggy carpets to dry out.’
    • ‘Residents of St John's Trace said it may take days before the water subsides.’
    • ‘As the water levels subsided, the Duke of York made a flying visit to the flood zone, which extended to Stamford Bridge over the border in the East Riding and beyond to Elvington, near York.’
    • ‘Fortunately for now, most of that flood water has subsided from that point.’
    • ‘He said several drains had been unblocked, but flood waters would subside as the drains took more.’
    • ‘When water levels subside and water stops flowing from the Main Pool, the carp disperse.’
    • ‘Rehabilitation and repairing of the infrastructure damages would be another huge task when the water subsides.’
    • ‘All sorts of debris, dead stock, etc., were discovered when the waters subsided.’
    • ‘As the waters subside, there has been a growing chorus of voices among environmental activists that the flooding in Europe and Asia could be linked to global climate change.’
    • ‘But for the victims, the misery did not end when the waters subsided.’
    • ‘But choppy waters subside, and the sharks and the little fishes and the roosters should be aware of this.’
    • ‘It was not until the evening of last Friday that the water level began to subside.’
    • ‘The water rapidly subsided back to normal levels leaving me on a falling building.’
    • ‘The major problem according to Fisheries Scientists is not so much fish getting washed away but those that get stranded on the Ings land are unable to find a route back to the river when the water subsides.’
    • ‘Mr Curry said Avoca Street and Steindle Road were also flooded, but the water subsided quickly and they were not closed off.’
    • ‘When the waters subsided, leaving just a pathway on the river bank, grocery people used to drive or cycle to the mill, then walk to our house to take orders for food from my mother.’
    • ‘The Love Street pitch had apparently been like an inland sea only 48 hours before kick-off but apart from a couple of extended patches of sand the waters had subsided.’
    • ‘The animals had already retreated into their jungle homes, and the water had subsided.’
    • ‘Apparently the water has subsided but that section of Huaihai Lu was still closed to traffic today at the time of this posting.’
    • ‘When the waters subsided, Greg started searching for his new wife and helped pull two men out of the wreckage and rescue an unconscious girl as he scoured the town.’
    recede, ebb, fall back, flow back, fall away, fall, go down, get lower, sink, sink lower
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (of the ground) cave in; sink.
      ‘the island is subsiding’
      • ‘At some point the volcanic island subsides enough for it to submerge, leaving an atoll behind.’
      • ‘So, that whole platform of south Louisiana is subsiding; it's sinking.’
      • ‘The problem of tunnel collapse will cause the land above the tunnel to subside especially when the excavation is carried out at shallow depth and in weak and soft soils.’
      • ‘The 47-year-old had parked up at 6pm on Tuesday, when neighbours saw the ground beginning to subside beneath the car.’
      • ‘When those pillars burn through and collapse, the ground above the mine subsides.’
      sink, sink back, settle, cave in, fall in, collapse, crumple, give way, drop down, sag, slump
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 (of a building or other structure) sink lower into the ground.
      ‘a ditch which caused the tower to subside slightly’
      • ‘Some also said the mine might make their homes subside, but a council investigation found no evidence of this.’
      • ‘And without that, the whole edifice subsides, slowly but inexorably, into the silt.’
      • ‘Two Marlborough town councillors fear cracks in the front wall of the town hall could threaten the building, even though an architect has said there was no evidence the building is subsiding.’
      • ‘On the other hand, many old houses subsided, whose grounds are even lower than that of streets.’
      • ‘In fact the whole house is beginning to subside.’
    3. 2.3 (of a swelling) reduce until gone.
      ‘it took seven days for the swelling to subside completely’
      • ‘Then she was ordered to change her clothes and sweep up her shorn tresses before the house was locked and she was told she would be kept inside until her bruises subsided.’
      • ‘The cast was removed for the first time after 7 days, when most of the swelling had subsided.’
      • ‘It is unclear if it is the same knee that hampered him a short time ago and he will undergo tests later this week when the swelling subsides.’
      • ‘But after prescribing a special bath of roots and leaves that I bathed in every morning, the swelling of my body subsided.’
      • ‘I've seen arthritic swelling subside within minutes after the stings were administered.’
      • ‘After 3 to 7 days, testicular pain and swelling subside, usually at about the same time that the fever passes.’
      • ‘During periods of disease exacerbation, however, the amount and type of fiber may have to be decreased until overt inflammation subsides.’
      • ‘Luckily, the swelling subsided after less enthusiastic treatment.’
      • ‘You should bear in mind that although wrinkles or scars may subside after only one laser session, more sessions may be needed to complete the therapy.’
      • ‘Definitive therapy is root canal treatment or extraction, which in selected cases may be delayed until swelling has subsided.’
      • ‘She dislocated both knee caps and her legs swelled so much she was evacuated to Germany until the swelling subsided.’
      • ‘Her swelling had subsided and her eyes no longer looked puffy.’
      • ‘Speaking of which, the skin that was bruised gleamed in a sickly yellowish hue, but the swelling has subsided at least.’
      • ‘Shortly after injection with the epinephrine, the rash and itching completely subsided.’
      • ‘I arrived late to first period history because I had remained in the restroom until the swelling had subsided.’
      • ‘Patients should be instructed to use sublingual nitroglycerin every five minutes until the pain subsides, and to seek medical attention if the pain is not relieved after three doses.’
      • ‘If treated quickly, the swelling usually would subside, but not without excruciating pain.’
      • ‘The swelling around the punctures subsided even more, but I guess that could have been due to the antibiotics I was stoking myself with.’
      • ‘I laid across the couch about an hour later, watching my ankle as the swelling subsided.’
      • ‘Once your period starts, the swelling subsides and your breasts return to normal.’
    4. 2.4no object, with adverbial Sink into a sitting, kneeling, or lying position.
      ‘Patrick subsided into his seat’
      • ‘The pain of his struggles to remain true to his vows slowly subsides, and he and Margaret achieve a peace in which passion is subsumed in the love of God.’
      • ‘She rowed the boat down the waterway, her anger slowly subsiding.’
      • ‘The chewing slowly subsided as she forced herself to relax; he was in the past, she had to forget him.’
      • ‘Slowly my pulse falls, the blood pressure drops, the feeling of sickness in the pit of my stomach slowly subsides.’
      • ‘I clung onto him as the pain subsided away slowly.’
      slump, flop, sink, sag, slouch, loll, fall back, collapse, settle
      View synonyms


Late 17th century: from Latin subsidere, from sub- ‘below’ + sidere ‘settle’ (related to sedere ‘sit’).