Definition of subside in English:



  • 1Become less intense, violent, or severe.

    ‘I'll wait a few minutes until the storm subsides’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Along with the warm sunshine, the cruel headwinds of Bank Holiday Monday subsided to a light breeze.’
    • ‘The rain had suddenly subsided to a slight drizzle; fishing for his Marlboros and lighter in the other pocket, he slowly lit a cigarette.’
    • ‘Then Doctor Gregori was finished and the pain subsided to a dull throb.’
    • ‘The pain in my feet had subsided to a dull, throbbing pain.’
    • ‘The normal bustling activity of the place had subsided to a murmur by this time of night.’
    • ‘Calls came from not far away but I stayed silent, as my sobbing subsided to light hiccups, that soon grew faint.’
    • ‘My bawling subsided to soft sobs, then to just sniffles.’
    • ‘The pain in my arm had subsided to a dull throb and we both fell asleep straight away, completely exhausted.’
    • ‘She pulled them on; her tears now subsided to sniffles.’
    • ‘Soon, the activity within the manor had subsided to an even drone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘After several minutes, the pain subsided to a dull ache in my rib cage.’
    • ‘The numbness spread quickly, and after I'd cleaned the cut the blood subsided to an ooze.’
    • ‘The original burst of gunfire had subsided to two-way salvos, with one side firing far more rounds than the other.’
    • ‘On the plus side, that meant her back was stronger and the pain had subsided to the point where she could bowl again.’
    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
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    1. 1.1 Lapse into silence or inactivity.
      ‘Fred opened his mouth to protest again, then subsided’
      • ‘Its initial hisses of displeasure subside to contented silence.’
      • ‘When the noise subsides, I fall into conversation with the young man on my left.’
      • ‘Her coughing had subsided for the moment and she had lapsed into much needed sleep.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The soft mumble of laughter and talk began to subside as I felt myself fall deeper.’
  • 2(of water) go down to a lower or the normal level.

    ‘the floods subside almost as quickly as they arise’
    • ‘Mr Curry said Avoca Street and Steindle Road were also flooded, but the water subsided quickly and they were not closed off.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Apparently the water has subsided but that section of Huaihai Lu was still closed to traffic today at the time of this posting.’
    • ‘But for the victims, the misery did not end when the waters subsided.’
    • ‘All sorts of debris, dead stock, etc., were discovered when the waters subsided.’
    • ‘The flood water subsided within an hour, leaving Mr and Mrs Ingram with soggy carpets to dry out.’
    • ‘He said several drains had been unblocked, but flood waters would subside as the drains took more.’
    • ‘Residents of St John's Trace said it may take days before the water subsides.’
    • ‘Rehabilitation and repairing of the infrastructure damages would be another huge task when the water subsides.’
    • ‘The animals had already retreated into their jungle homes, and the water had 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.’
    • ‘Fortunately for now, most of that flood water has subsided from that point.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When water levels subside and water stops flowing from the Main Pool, the carp disperse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The water rapidly subsided back to normal levels leaving me on a falling building.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    recede, ebb, fall back, flow back, fall away, fall, go down, get lower, sink, sink lower
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    1. 2.1 (of the ground) cave in; sink.
      ‘the island is subsiding’
      • ‘So, that whole platform of south Louisiana is subsiding; it's sinking.’
      • ‘When those pillars burn through and collapse, the ground above the mine subsides.’
      • ‘The 47-year-old had parked up at 6pm on Tuesday, when neighbours saw the ground beginning to subside beneath the car.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At some point the volcanic island subsides enough for it to submerge, leaving an atoll behind.’
      sink, sink back, settle, cave in, fall in, collapse, crumple, give way, drop down, sag, slump
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    2. 2.2 (of a swelling) reduce until gone.
      ‘it took seven days for the swelling to subside completely’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Once your period starts, the swelling subsides and your breasts return to normal.’
      • ‘If treated quickly, the swelling usually would subside, but not without excruciating pain.’
      • ‘She dislocated both knee caps and her legs swelled so much she was evacuated to Germany until the swelling 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘During periods of disease exacerbation, however, the amount and type of fiber may have to be decreased until overt inflammation subsides.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Speaking of which, the skin that was bruised gleamed in a sickly yellowish hue, but the swelling has subsided at least.’
      • ‘But after prescribing a special bath of roots and leaves that I bathed in every morning, the swelling of my body subsided.’
      • ‘Luckily, the swelling subsided after less enthusiastic treatment.’
      • ‘Shortly after injection with the epinephrine, the rash and itching completely subsided.’
      • ‘I've seen arthritic swelling subside within minutes after the stings were administered.’
      • ‘I laid across the couch about an hour later, watching my ankle as the swelling subsided.’
      • ‘The swelling around the punctures subsided even more, but I guess that could have been due to the antibiotics I was stoking myself with.’
      • ‘After 3 to 7 days, testicular pain and swelling subside, usually at about the same time that the fever passes.’
      • ‘Her swelling had subsided and her eyes no longer looked puffy.’
      • ‘Definitive therapy is root canal treatment or extraction, which in selected cases may be delayed until swelling has subsided.’
      • ‘I arrived late to first period history because I had remained in the restroom until the swelling had subsided.’
      • ‘The cast was removed for the first time after 7 days, when most of the swelling had subsided.’


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