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Borrowed from Latin subōrnō.



suborn (third-person singular simple present suborns, present participle suborning, simple past and past participle suborned)

  1. (transitive) To induce to commit an unlawful or malicious act, or to commit perjury [from 16th c.]
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir W. O. Russell to this entry?)
  2. (transitive) To procure privately, or by collusion; to incite secretly; to instigate.
    • William Shakespeare
      Thou art suborned against his honour.
    • John Dryden
      Those who by despair suborn their death.
    • 1981, Donald Kagan, The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition:
      The informer Diocleides was hailed as savior of the city, crowned with a wreath, and taken in honor to the Prytaneum where he dined at public expense. In their excitement and gratitude the Athenians noted neither his attempt to suborn a bribe nor his delay in seeking public safety.

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