# subtract

[suh b-trakt]

- to withdraw or take away, as a part from a whole.
- Mathematics. to take (one number or quantity) from another; deduct.

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- to take away something or a part, as from a whole.

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## Origin of subtract^{}

1530–40; < Latin subtractus (past participle of subtrahere to draw away from underneath), equivalent to sub- sub- + trac- (past participle stem of trahere to draw) + -tus past participle suffix

## Synonyms

See more synonyms for subtract on Thesaurus.com1, 3. Subtract, deduct express diminution in sum or quantity. To subtract suggests taking a part from a whole or a smaller from a larger: to subtract the tax from one's salary. To deduct is to take away an amount or quantity from an aggregate or total so as to lessen or lower it: to deduct a discount. Subtract is both transitive and intransitive, and has general or figurative uses; deduct is always transitive and usually concrete and practical in application.

## Antonyms

1–3. add.

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

## Examples from the Web for subtract

### Contemporary Examples

#### Think of it as Game of Thrones—if you subtract the sex and violence and add drunken revelry and singing.

#### She knows exactly how to add or subtract hair for any style she wants, whenever she wants it.

#### “When a party is in the minority, it has to add, not subtract,” huffed Jennifer Rubin.

#### Subtract the wives, daughters, and widows and you are left with a fraction of that already small number.

#### “The unofficial formula we use is to go back to the year they were abused and subtract two years,” she explained.

### Historical Examples

#### But if you asked her to subtract two from nine, she'd say "seven" all right!

The Foolish LoversSt. 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 PeoplePansy

#### I will teach you ten times further; and to add, and to subtract, if you will come with me.

The Boarding SchoolUnknown

#### If the barometer reading is less than 30 inches, add; if greater than 30 inches, subtract.

Seasoning of WoodJoseph B. Wagner

## subtract

- to calculate the difference between (two numbers or quantities) by subtraction
- to remove (a part of a thing, quantity, etc) from the whole

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## Word Origin

C16: from Latin subtractus withdrawn, from subtrahere to draw away from beneath, from sub- + trahere to draw

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 subtract

### v.

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]

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper