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Origin of subset

First recorded in 1900–05; sub- + set Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for subset

Contemporary Examples of subset

Historical Examples of subset

  • A subset of the Sun Tzu example is the view that war is deception.

    Shock and Awe

    Harlan K. Ullman

British Dictionary definitions for subset


  1. maths
    1. a set the members of which are all members of some given class: A is a subset of B is usually written A⊆B
    2. proper subsetone that is strictly contained within a larger class and excludes some of its membersSymbol: A⊂B
  2. a set within a larger set
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

Word Origin and History for subset

"subordinate set," 1902, from sub- + set (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

subset in Science


  1. A set whose members are all contained in another set. The set of positive integers, for example, is a subset of the set of integers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.