- to withdraw or take away, as a part from a whole.
- Mathematics. to take (one number or quantity) from another; deduct.
- to take away something or a part, as from a whole.
Origin of subtract
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for subtract
Think of it as Game of Thrones—if you subtract the sex and violence and add drunken revelry and singing.‘Galavant’: A Drunken, Horny Musical Fairy Tale
January 5, 2015
She knows exactly how to add or subtract hair for any style she wants, whenever she wants it.Beyoncé Debuts A New Blonde Bob
August 16, 2013
“When a party is in the minority, it has to add, not subtract,” huffed Jennifer Rubin.The Bill Clinton and DLC Model For Reinventing the Republican Party
March 14, 2013
Subtract the wives, daughters, and widows and you are left with a fraction of that already small number.Why Are There So Few Female Plutocrats?
October 16, 2012
“The unofficial formula we use is to go back to the year they were abused and subtract two years,” she explained.Penn State’s Hidden Victims
July 11, 2012
But if you asked her to subtract two from nine, she'd say "seven" all right!The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
Subtract from civilization all that has been produced by the poor, and what remains?
Well, all about them—how to add and multiply, and subtract and divide, and fractions.Three People
I will teach you ten times further; and to add, and to subtract, if you will come with me.The Boarding School
If the barometer reading is less than 30 inches, add; if greater than 30 inches, subtract.Seasoning of Wood
Joseph B. Wagner
- to calculate the difference between (two numbers or quantities) by subtraction
- to remove (a part of a thing, quantity, etc) from the whole
Word Origin and History for subtract
1540s, from Latin subtractus, past participle of subtrahere (see subtraction). Related: Subtracted; subtracting. Earlier verb form was subtraien (early 15c.).
Here he teches þe Craft how þou schalt know, whan þou hast subtrayd, wheþer þou hast wel ydo or no. ["Craft of Numbering," c.1425]