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subtractive

[suh b-trak-tiv]
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adjective
  1. tending to subtract; having power to subtract.
  2. Mathematics. (of a quantity) that is to be subtracted; having the minus sign (−).
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Origin of subtractive

First recorded in 1680–90; subtract + -ive
Related formsnon·sub·trac·tive, adjectivenon·sub·trac·tive·ly, adverbun·sub·trac·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for subtractive

Historical Examples

  • These quantities are additive for years after 1800, and subtractive for years before that epoch.

    Astrology

    Sepharial

  • The first number should be additive, the second subtractive, etc.

    Visual Signaling

    Signal Corps United States Army

  • The colors produced by adding lights are based not on the "subtractive" method but on the actual addition of colors.

    Artificial Light

    M. Luckiesh

  • These primaries are red, green, and blue and it will be noted that they are the complementaries of the "subtractive" primaries.

    Artificial Light

    M. Luckiesh

  • The additive and subtractive methods are chiefly involved, but there is another method which is an "averaging" additive one.

    Artificial Light

    M. Luckiesh


British Dictionary definitions for subtractive

subtractive

adjective
  1. able or tending to remove or subtract
  2. indicating or requiring subtraction; having a minus sign–x is a subtractive quantity
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

subtractive in Science

subtractive

[səb-trăktĭv]
  1. Relating to the production of color by the blocking or removal of varying wavelengths, as with colored filters, or by the mixing of pigments that absorb certain wavelengths and reflect others.♦ The subtractive primaries cyan, magenta, and yellow are those colors whose wavelengths can be filtered or absorbed in different proportions to produce all other colors. Compare additive. See Note at color.
  2. Marked by or involving subtraction.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.