[ suhb-set ]
/ ˈsʌbˌsɛt /


a set that is a part of a larger set.
Mathematics. a set consisting of elements of a given set that can be the same as the given set or smaller.

Origin of subset

First recorded in 1900–05; sub- + set Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for subset

British Dictionary definitions for subset


/ (ˈsʌbˌsɛt) /


  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 subset one that is strictly contained within a larger class and excludes some of its membersSymbol: A⊂B
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

Science definitions for subset


[ sŭbsĕt′ ]

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.