Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- Of a lower rank or position; inferior or secondary; especially (military) ranking as a junior officer, below the rank of captain.
- a subaltern officer
- (logic) Asserting only a part of what is asserted in a related proposition.
subaltern (plural subalterns)
- A subordinate.
- (Britain) A commissioned officer having a rank below that of captain; a lieutenant or second lieutenant.
1891, Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray:
- She was an extraordinarily beautiful girl, Margaret Devereux ; and made all the men frantic by running away with a penniless young fellow ; a mere nobody sir a subaltern in a foot regiment, or something of that kind.
- (logic) A subaltern proposition; a proposition implied by a universal proposition. For example, some crows are black is a subaltern of all crows are black.
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