View synonyms for subtract


[ suhb-trakt ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to withdraw or take away, as a part from a whole.

    Antonyms: add

  2. Mathematics. to take (one number or quantity) from another; deduct.

    Antonyms: add

verb (used without object)

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

    Antonyms: add


/ səbˈtrækt /


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

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Derived Forms

  • subˈtracter, noun

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Other Words From

  • sub·tracter noun
  • unsub·tracted adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of subtract1

First recorded in 1530–40; from 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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of subtract1

C16: from Latin subtractus withdrawn, from subtrahere to draw away from beneath, from sub- + trahere to draw

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Synonym Study

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.

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Example Sentences

So one approach was to precisely calculate the areas of the two spheres and subtract them.

That could help them work around those times or even mask the satellites’ light during exposure, and it could also be used in image processing to subtract satellite trails from the data itself.

Quickly adjust the weight by adding or subtracting from the five removable pockets, which hold between one to five pounds.

This team also subtracted out the expected number of seasonal cases of other flu-like infections.

To find out how much rock candy you made in each group, subtract the weight of each string at the beginning of the experiment from the weight of the candy-coated string.

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.

Subtract 21⁄3rd times the difference of the temperature of the mercury.

If a change does not add to the sum total of their happiness, I trust that it will not subtract much from it.

This time we do not subtract A³ and CqA, because this subtraction is already affected by the preceding work.

Take as many nines as there are figures in the smallest number, and subtract that sum from the number of nines.

It was also permissible for the poet (besides adding to the line at the end) to subtract from it at the beginning, viz.


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More About Subtract

What does subtract mean?

Subtract means to take something away, usually as in taking a piece out of a whole.

In math, subtract means to perform subtraction, the operation in which you find difference between two numbers or quantities.

You can subtract one thing from another, as in We need to subtract the cost of labor from our total profits.

You can also subtract something without mentioning what you’re subtracting it from, as in If you subtract the busy traffic, my day wasn’t that bad. In other words, when you consider everything in my day, except for the traffic it wasn’t a bad day.

For the most part, subtract usually refers to taking a small piece away from a bigger whole. However, subtracting can potentially result in negative amounts or debts when you’re subtracting numbers.

When you first learned subtraction, your teacher might have said that when we subtract, we are “taking away” one number from another. For example, if you subtract 3 from 5, you take away 3 from 5, which leaves you with 2.

Example: I need to remember to subtract my electric bill from my monthly budget.

Where does subtract  come from?

The first records of subtract come from around 1530. It comes from the Latin verb subtrahere, meaning “to draw away from underneath.”

Subtracting numbers is one of the first operations we learn in math. Even very large numbers can be subtracted quickly by separating out numbers into columns of smaller units.

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What are some other forms related to subtract?

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What are some words that share a root or word element with subtract

What are some words that often get used in discussing subtract?

How is subtract used in real life?

Subtract is a common word that means to take something away or to perform subtraction.

Try using subtract!

True or False?

To subtract something, you add it to something else.