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See also: Subvention



From Middle French subvention, from Late Latin subventio.



subvention (countable and uncountable, plural subventions)

  1. A subsidy; provision of financial or other support.
    • 1758, John Burton, Monasticon Eboracense and the Ecclesiastical History of Yorkshire, York: for the author, p. 230,[1]
      [] the said religious shall [] pay all papal impositions, subventions, and contributions []
    • 1858, Thomas Carlyle, History of Friedrich the Second, called Frederick the Great, New York: Harper, 1859, Volume I, Book 1, Chapter 3, p. 23,[2]
      [] the Crown-Prince, contrary to wont, broke silence, and begged some dole or subvention for these poor people; but there was nothing to be had.
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      Inside its skirts he carried his shopping for Miss Dubber: the bacon from Mr. Aitken, only mind and tell him he's to cut it on number five, give him half a chance he'll make it thicker. And tell that Mr. Crosse three of his tomatoes were rotten last week, not just bad, rotten. If I don't have replacements I'll never go to him again. Pym had followed her instructions to the letter, though not with the ferocity she would have wished, for both Crosse and Aitken were recipients of his secret subventions, and for years had been sending Miss Dubber bills for only half what she had spent.
  2. (obsolete) The act of coming under.
    • 1744, Thomas Stackhouse, A New History of the Holy Bible, London: Stephen Austen, 2nd edition, Volume 2, Book 6, Chapter 2, p. 845,[3]
      Now the only Ascension that we read of, besides these, is that of our blessed Saviour; and the Manner, in which he is said to have been carry’d up, was, by the Subvention of a Cloud, which rais’d him from the Ground []
  3. (archaic) The act of relieving, as of a burden; support; aid; assistance; help.
    • 1647, Thomas Fuller, The Cause and Cure of a Wounded Conscience, London: John Williams, Dialogue 21, pp. 157-158,[4]
      [] if we pray to God to remove a lesser judgement by way of subvention, questionlesse we may beseech him to deliver us from the great evill of a wounded conscience, by way of prevention.
    • 1803, Robert Charles Dallas, The History of the Maroons, London: Longman and Rees, Volume 1, Letter 5, p. 123,[5]
      A small body of negroes defied the choicest troops of one of the greatest nations in the world, kept an extensive country in alarm, and were at length brought to surrender, only by means of a subvention still more extraordinary than their own mode of warfare.
    • 1894, Max Beerbohm, “A Defence of Cosmetics,” New York: Dodd, Mead, 1922, p. 12,[6]
      Let the young critics, who seek a cheap reputation for austerity, by cavilling at “incidental music,” set their faces rather against the attempt to justify inferior dramatic art by the subvention of a quite alien art like painting, of any art, indeed, whose sphere is only surface.

Related terms[edit]



subvention (third-person singular simple present subventions, present participle subventioning, simple past and past participle subventioned)

  1. To subsidise.
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, p. 136:
      His task was, it is true, made easier by the need of the English to remove troops to put down the 1745-6 Jacobite Rising, which the French had subventioned.




  1. Genitive singular form of subventio.



  • IPA(key): /syb.vɑ̃.sjɔ̃/
  • (file)


subvention f (plural subventions)

  1. subsidy
  2. grant

Further reading[edit]