Definition of subdued in US English:



  • 1(of a person or their manner) quiet and rather reflective or depressed.

    ‘I felt strangely subdued as I drove home’
    • ‘A subdued Adam Gilchrist joined Waugh, and the pair set about milking the bowling as Australia at first struggled to emulate their effortless dominance of day one.’
    • ‘Most of Government functions, in which Ministers participate, are organised in a subdued manner.’
    • ‘It was a small and somewhat subdued crowd greeting Goertzen at the Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre as he and his wife Kim arrived to address supporters.’
    • ‘Only yesterday the president was very subdued and diplomatic, saying things were moving along.’
    • ‘When I picked her up from her first school dance she was strangely subdued and even shaken.’
    • ‘He was more subdued than he had been in the past month.’
    • ‘We exchanged letters regularly but the man who emerged from jail was a quieter, more subdued individual.’
    • ‘The mood of the team is usually fairly jovial, but they were very subdued when it became apparent what was happening.’
    • ‘At the first strum the previously subdued audience surged forward waving and chanting.’
    • ‘Allie nodded and in a subdued manner, kept her low while the food was served.’
    • ‘A subdued crowd of tourists from all over Britain and the world gathered with locals to pay their respects at one of 12 salutes taking place around the country and in Gibraltar.’
    • ‘She was uncharacteristically subdued, and she walked with slumped shoulders and eyes on the ground.’
    • ‘But we were quickly forgiven once the subdued audience was brought to life with Sum 41's amazingly tight renditions of all their best hits.’
    • ‘Fans came to their local pub to see a band that can uplift even the most subdued crowd.’
    • ‘Her daughter was one of the most tranquil, subdued persons she knew in her life.’
    • ‘The goal immediately lifted the hosts and a hitherto subdued crowd.’
    • ‘Early fears of waterlogging and flooding in various of the venue's marquees proved unfounded, although heavy downpours all morning long subdued delegates' spirits.’
    • ‘She smiled, in a subtle, subdued manner, her elfin features bore a look that was regal, majestic, aristocratic.’
    • ‘Reflecting on those happy, hell-raising times, a subdued Bennett attributes his current physical condition to earlier self damage.’
    • ‘As I left the press meeting in Auburn, I encountered a subdued Linda, her parents, and a young man who said he was a close friend of hers.’
    sombre, low-spirited, downcast, sad, dejected, depressed, low, gloomy, despondent, dispirited, disheartened, forlorn, woebegone
    hushed, muted, quiet, low, soft, gentle, whispered, murmured, faint, muffled, indistinct, inaudible
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  • 2(of color or lighting) soft and restrained.

    ‘a subdued plaid shirt’
    • ‘The colorful scenes tend to be counterbalanced by some dark and foreboding sets, and many shots feature subdued lighting that tends to strain shadow detail.’
    • ‘But art deco coloured glass means subdued lighting, hence the problems with reading the menu.’
    • ‘Only problem was, the lighting was very subdued and I couldn't really see what I was consuming.’
    • ‘Slowly, her eyes opened and she looked up into subdued lighting provided by an emergency light in the elevator into his worried eyes.’
    • ‘The subdued hues of the soft corals and sponges and the shimmering fish flirting along the reef edge made a stunning spectacle.’
    • ‘These works necessitated smaller spaces and subdued lighting, thus making the transition somewhat awkward.’
    • ‘But if you want to create a more subdued look go for softer colours: silvers, pewters and ivories.’
    • ‘The ambient subdued lighting enhances the Art Deco boldness as the black and white tiled floor and sculpted bar invoke memories of speakeasy days and jazz filled nights.’
    • ‘The film looks like any big-city hotel - an atrium, subdued lighting, comfy modern chairs on the ground floor.’
    • ‘The subdued lighting and highly evocative performances created a powerful and moving atmosphere that was sustained throughout the evening.’
    • ‘The colour palette includes subdued beiges, burgundies and charcoal blues on high-back chairs and sectional wall panels.’
    • ‘It is this tradition which leads to the present day custom of placing dark coloured candles and other subdued lights in lanterns and pumpkins.’
    • ‘The roof terrace looks down into the Grassmarket, while inside the subdued lighting and dark wooden furniture lends itself to romantic candlelit dinners.’
    • ‘It is decorated in the most interesting manner with dark subdued lighting creating a warm cosy atmosphere.’
    • ‘The lighting is usually subdued, making colours appear surreal.’
    • ‘There's subdued lighting, quieter colours and the chefs are now in a kitchen, which is visible from the main foyer.’
    • ‘Colour choices are subdued, and monochromatic.’
    • ‘Bright sunlight renders colour far more richly than the more subdued light in Britain.’
    • ‘Gehry had also designed a more subdued colour scheme for the central sports centre, but again says he was urged to be more extreme by the government's advisers.’
    • ‘The interiors of the restaurant retain the Raj traditions, with wood panelling, etched glass, high windows, Italian marble, and subdued lighting.’
    dim, muted, toned down, softened, soft, lowered, shaded, low-key, subtle, unobtrusive, understated
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