v. tr. sub·vert·ed, sub·vert·ing, sub·verts.
1.To destroy completely; ruin: "schemes to subvert the liberties of a great community"
2.To undermine the character, morals, or allegiance of; corrupt.
3.To overthrow completely: "Economic assistance . . . must subvert the existing . . . feudal or tribal order" (Henry A. Kissinger). See Synonyms at overthrow.
[Middle English subverten, from Old French subvertir, from Latin subvertere: sub-, sub- + vertere, to turn; see wer-2 in Indo-European Roots.]
I.Root *wert-, to turn, wind.
1. a. i.-ward, from Old English -weard, toward (< "turned toward"); ii.inward, from Old English inweard, inward, from Germanic *inwarth, inward (*in, in; see en). Both (i) and (ii) from Germanic variant *warth; b.worth1; stalwart, from Old English weorth, worth, valuable, and derivative noun weorth, wierth, value, from Germanic derivative *werthaz, "toward, opposite," hence "equivalent, worth," perhaps from wer-2. Both a and b from Germanic *werth-. 2. worth2, from Old English weorthan, to befall, from Germanic *werthan, to become (< "to turn into"). 3.Zero-grade form *wt-. weird, from Old English wyrd, fate, destiny (< "that which befalls one"), from Germanic *wurthi-. 4. versatile, verse, version, versus, vertebra, vertex, vertigo, vortex; adverse, anniversary, avert, bouleversement, extrorse, (extroversion), extrovert, introrse, introvert, invert, malversation, obvert, pervert, prose, retrorse, revert, sinistrorse, subvert, tergiversate, transverse, universe, from Latin vertere, to turn, with its frequentative versre, to turn, and passive versr, to stay, behave (< "to move around a place, frequent"). 5. verst, from Russian versta, line, from Balto-Slavic *wirst-, a turn, bend. II. Root *wreit-, to turn. 1. a.wreath, from Old English writha, band (< "that which is wound around"); b.writhe, from Old English wrthan, to twist, torture; c.wrath, wroth, from Old English wrth, angry (< "tormented, twisted"). a, b, and c all from Germanic *wrth-, *wraith-. III.Root *wergh-, to turn. 1.worry, from Old English wyrgan, to strangle, from Germanic *wurgjan. 2. Nasalized variant *wrengh-. a.wring, from Old English wringan, to twist, from Germanic *wreng-; b. i.wrong, from Middle English wrong, wrong, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse *vrangr, rangr, curved, crooked, wrong; ii.wrangle, from Middle English wranglen, to wrangle, from a Low German source akin to wrangeln, to wrestle. Both (i) and (ii) from Germanic *wrang-. IV.Root *werg-, to turn. 1.Nasalized variant form *wreng-. a.wrench, from Old English wrencan, to twist; b.wrinkle, from Old English gewrinclian, to wind (ge-, collective prefix; see kom). Both a and b from Germanic *wrankjan. 2.verge2; converge, diverge, from Latin vergere, to turn, tend toward. V.Root *wreik-, to turn. 1. a.wry, from Old English wrgian, to turn, bend, go;
b.wriggle, from Middle Low German wriggeln, to wriggle. Both a and b from Germanic *wrg-. 2.a.wrist, from Old English wrist, wrist; b.gaiter, from Old French guietre, gaiter, from Frankish *wrist-. Both a and b from Germanic *wristiz, from *wrihst-. 3.wrest, wrestle, from Old English wrstan, to twist, from secondary Germanic derivative *wraistjan.
4.Possibly o-grade form *wroik-. briar1, (brusque), from Late Latin brcus, heather, from
Gaulish *brko-. VI.ribald, from Old French riber, to be wanton, from Germanic root *wrib.
VII.Root *werb-, also *werbh-, to turn, bend.