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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Subversive'

Subversive Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    subversive adj : in opposition to a civil authority or government [syn: insurgent, seditious] n : a radical supporter of political or social revolution [syn: revolutionist, revolutionary, subverter]
Subversive Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Subversive \Sub*ver"sive\, a. [Cf. F. subversif.] Tending to subvert; having a tendency to overthrow and ruin. Lying is a vice subversive of the very ends and design of conversation. --Rogers.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Subversive'

Subversion refers to an attempt to transform the established social order, its structures of power, authority, exploitation, servitude, and hierarchy; examples of such structures include the state. It is an overturning or uprooting. A subversive is something or someone carrying the potential for some degree of subversion.

The word is present in all languages of Latin origin, originally applying to such events as the military defeat of a city. As early as the 14th century, it was being used in the English language with reference to laws, and in the 15th century came to be used with respect to the realm. The term has taken over from ‘sedition’ as the name for illicit rebellion, though the connotations of the two words are rather different, sedition suggesting overt attacks on institutions, subversion something much more surreptitious, such as eroding the basis of belief in the status quo or setting people against each other.

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'Subversive' in famous quotation sentence

* Do you want me to tell you something really subversive Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. . . . It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more. - Lee Iacocca

* Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin -- more even than death.... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man. - Bertrand Russell

* The Fanaticism which discards the Scripture, under the pretense of resorting to immediate revelations is subversive of every principle of Christianity. For when they boast extravagantly of the Spirit, the tendency is always to bury the Word of God so they may make room for their own falsehoods. - John Calvin

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