sub·​set | \ ˈsəb-ˌset How to pronounce subset (audio) \

Definition of subset

1 : a set each of whose elements is an element of an inclusive set
2 : division, portion a subset of our community

Examples of subset in a Sentence

The set {1,2,3} is a subset of the set {1,2,3,4,5}. Only a small subset of the patients in the study experienced these side effects.
Recent Examples on the Web In part, that is because Apple Watch is limited to a subset of the population — mainly, to those who also use iPhones. Washington Post, "Apple’s new watch event draws attention to its health-care play," 15 Sep. 2020 OPNs are a subset sitting within a broader family that includes spoofs, so an OPN must share every property of a spoof, while possessing additional properties that are even more restrictive (such as the stipulation that all bases must be prime). Quanta Magazine, "Mathematicians Open a New Front on an Ancient Number Problem," 10 Sep. 2020 To a subset of film fans, this is definitely the most anticipated film of Labor Day weekend 2020. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "I’m Thinking of Ending Things," 7 Sep. 2020 Long before engineers develop a generally programmable quantum computer, devices with a handful of qubits should be able to outperform classical computers on a subset of interesting problems in chemistry, Aspuru-Guzik says. Neil Savage, Scientific American, "Google’s Quantum Computer Achieves Chemistry Milestone," 4 Sep. 2020 Like suitors, there will always be a subset of investors looking to trade up to the next best thing. Laura Forman, WSJ, "Bumble’s Buzz Won’t Sting Match," 4 Sep. 2020 Surprise billing — in which people get stuck with medical bills, sometimes large ones, that their insurance doesn’t cover — is unpopular, is hard to defend, and implicates only a subset of medical providers. Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, "Medical Complications," 3 Sep. 2020 And the statistics don’t necessarily mean that Utah County has the state’s highest number of cannabis patients, since cardholders are just one subset of the total. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah County, where voters spurned Prop 2, is home to nearly half the state’s cannabis cardholders," 26 Aug. 2020 Though the study of viruses began as an investigation into what appeared to be a strange subset of pathogens, recent research puts them at the heart of an explanation of the strategies of genes, both selfish and otherwise. The Economist, "The aliens among us How viruses shape the world," 22 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subset.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of subset

1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for subset

Time Traveler

The first known use of subset was in 1881

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Statistics for subset

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subset.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for subset


How to pronounce subset (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of subset

technical : a group of things, people, etc., that is part of a larger group


sub·​set | \ ˈsəb-ˌset How to pronounce subset (audio) \

Kids Definition of subset

: a small division or portion

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More from Merriam-Webster on subset

Nglish: Translation of subset for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of subset for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about subset

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