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Instrumental use; use or operation that promotes some purpose. The body, wherein appears much fitness, use and subserviency to infinite functions. – Bentley. There is a regular subordination and subserviency among the parts to beneficial ends. – Cheyne.

SUB-SERV'I-ENT, a. [L. subserviens.]

  1. Useful as an instrument to promote a purpose; serving to promote some end. Hammond had an incredible dexterity, scarcely ever reading any thing which he did not make subservient in one kind or other. – Fell.
  2. Subordinate; acting as a subordinate instrument. These are the creatures of God, subordinate to him, and subservient to his will. These ranks of creatures are subservient one to another. – Ray.


In a subservient manner.


Serving in subordination; serving instrumentally.

SUB-SES'SILE, a. [L. sub and sessilis.]

In botany, almost sessile; having very short footstalks. – Martyn. Lee.

SUB-SEX'TU-PLE, a. [L. sub and sextuplus.]

Containing one part in six. – Wilkins.

SUB-SIDE, v.i. [L. subsido; sub and sido, to settle. See Set.]

  1. To sink or fall to the bottom; to settle; as lees.
  2. To fall into a state of quiet; to cease to rage; to be calmed; to become tranquil. Let the passions subside. The tumults of war will subside. Christ commanded, and the storm subsided.
  3. To tend downward; to sink; as, a subsiding hill. The land subsides into a plain.
  4. To abate; to be reduced. In cases of danger, pride and envy naturally subside. – Middleton.


  1. The act or process of sinking or falling, as in the lees of liquors.
  2. The act of sinking or gradually descending, as ground. – Burnet.

SUB-SID'I-A-RY, a. [Fr. subsidiaire; L. subsidiarius. See Subsidy.]

  1. Aiding; assistant; furnishing help. Subsidiary troops are troops of one nation hired by another for military service.
  2. Furnishing additional supplies; as, a subsidiary stream.


An assistant; an auxiliary; he or that which contributes aid or additional supplies. – Stephens.

SUB'SI-DIZE, v.t. [from subsidy.]

To furnish with a subsidy; to purchase the assistance of another by the payment of a subsidy to him. Great Britain subsidized some of the German powers in the late war with France.


Engaged as an auxiliary by means of a subsidy.


Purchasing the assistance of by subsidies.

SUB'SI-DY, n. [Fr. subside; L. subsidium, from subsido, literally to be or sit under or by.]

  1. Aid in money; supply given; a tax; something furnished for aid, as by the people to their prince; as, the subsidies granted formerly to the kings of England. Subsidies were a tax, not immediately on property, but on persons in respect of their reputed estates, after the nominal rate of 4s. the pound for lands, and 2s. 8d. for goods. Blackstone.
  2. A sum of money paid by one prince or nation to another, to purchase the service of auxiliary troops, or the aid of such foreign prince in a war against an enemy. Thus Great Britain paid subsidies to Austria and Prussia, to engage them to resist the progress of the French.

SUB-SIGN, v.t. [subsi'ne; L. subsigno; sub and signo, to sign.]

To sign under; to write beneath. [Little used.] – Camden.


The act of writing the name under something for attestation. [Little used.]

SUB-SILENTIO, adv. [Sub silentio.]

In silence or secrecy.

SUB-SIST, v.i. [Fr. subsister; It. sussistere; Sp. subsistir; L. subsisto; sub and sisto; to stand, to be fixed.]

  1. To be; to have existence; applicable to matter or spirit.
  2. To continue; to retain the present state. Firm we subsist, but possible to swerve. – Milton.
  3. To live; to be maintained with food and clothing. How many of the human race subsist on the labors of others! How many armies have subsisted on plunder!
  4. To inhere; to have existence by means of something else; as, qualities that subsist in substances.

SUB-SIST', v.t.

To feed; to maintain; to support with provisions. The king subsisted his troops on provisions plundered from the enemy.

SUB-SIST'ENCE, or SUB-SIST'EN-CY, n. [Fr. subsistence; It. sussistenza.]

  1. Real being; as, a chain of differing subsistencies. – Glanville. Not only the things had subsistence, but the very images were of some creatures existing. – Stillingfleet.
  2. Competent provisions; means of supporting life. His viceroy could only propose to himself a comfortable subsistence out of the plunder of his province. – Addison.
  3. That which supplies the means of living; as money, pay or wages.
  4. Inherence in something else; as, the subsistence of qualities in bodies.

SUB-SIST'ENT, a. [L. subsistens.]

  1. Having real being; as, a subsistent spirit. – Brown.
  2. Inherent; as, qualities subsistent in matter. – Bentley.

SUB'SOIL, n. [sub and soil.]

The bed or stratum of earth, which lies between the surface soil and the base on which they rest. – Cyc.

SUB-SPE'CIES, n. [sub and species.]

A subordinate species; a division of a species. – Thomson.

SUB'STANCE, n. [Fr.; It. sustanza; Sp. substancia; L. substantia, substo; sub and sto, to stand.]

  1. In a general sense, being; something existing by itself; that which really is or exists; equally applicable to matter or spirit. Thus the soul of man is called an immaterial substance, a cogitative substance, a substance endued with thought. We say, a stone is a hard substance; tallow is a soft substance.
  2. That which supports accidents. That which subsists by itself is called substance; that which subsists in and by another, is called a mode or manner of being. – Watts.
  3. The essential part; the main or material part. In this epitome we have the substance of the whole book. This edition is the same in substance with the Latin. – Burnet.
  4. Something real, not imaginary; something solid, not empty. Heroic virtue did his actions guide, / And he the substance, not th' appearance chose. – Dryden.
  5. Body; corporeal nature or matter. The qualities of plants are more various than those of animate substances. – Arbuthnot.
  6. Goods; estate; means of living. Job's substance was seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, &c. – Job i. We are – exhausting our substance, but not for our own interest. – Swift.


  1. Belonging to substance; real; actually existing. If this atheist would have his chance to be a real and substantial agent, he is more stupid than the vulgar. – Bentley.
  2. Real; solid; true; not seeming or imaginary. If happiness be a substantial good. – Denham. The substantial ornaments of virtue. – L'Estrange.
  3. Corporeal; material. The rainbow appears like a substantial arch in the sky. – Watts.
  4. Having substance; strong; stout; solid; as, substantial cloth; a substantial fence or gate.
  5. Possessed of goods or estate; responsible; moderately wealthy; as, a substantial freeholder or farmer; a substantial citizen. – Addison.