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verb sub·tract \səb-ˈtrakt\

: to take (a number or amount) from another number or amount

Full Definition of SUBTRACT

transitive verb
:  to take away by or as if by deducting <subtract 5 from 9> <subtract funds from the project>
intransitive verb
:  to perform a subtraction
sub·tract·er noun

Examples of SUBTRACT

  1. <if you subtract 10 from 23, you get 13>
  2. <you can subtract the time you spent daydreaming from your total homework time>

Origin of SUBTRACT

Latin subtractus, past participle of subtrahere to draw from beneath, withdraw, from sub- + trahere to draw
First Known Use: 1557
SUBTRACT Defined for Kids


verb sub·tract \səb-ˈtrakt\

Definition of SUBTRACT for Kids

:  to take away (as one part or number from another) :  deduct

Word Root of SUBTRACT

The Latin word tractus, meaning pulled or dragged, gives us the root tract. Words from the Latin tractus have to do with being pulled or dragged. To attract is to pull or draw towards you. To distract is to pull someone's attention away from something. To extract is to pull one thing out of another. To subtract is to pull a portion or number away from a group or from a whole.


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