sub·​tract | \ səb-ˈtrakt How to pronounce subtract (audio) \
subtracted; subtracting; subtracts

Definition of subtract

transitive verb

: to take away by or as if by deducting subtract 5 from 9 subtract funds from the project

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Other Words from subtract

subtracter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for subtract


abate, deduct, knock off, take off


add, tack (on)

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Examples of subtract in a Sentence

if you subtract 10 from 23, you get 13 you can subtract the time you spent daydreaming from your total homework time

Recent Examples on the Web

As a gilded ear is added or subtracted from a look, assistants enter new information in their laptops while others look on intently. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Inside the Wild World of Gucci’s Alessandro Michele," 15 Apr. 2019 Each year after the decennial head count, the Census Bureau adds and subtracts births and deaths and estimates migration using Medicare enrollment and IRS year-to-year matched tax returns. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "How Many People Live on Nantucket? Depends Whom You Ask," 5 Oct. 2018 Here's how to do the necessary calculations: Take your room's width and subtract 3/4 inch for expansion space (because there will be 3/8-inch of space along each wall). Joesph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "8 Tips for Installing Laminate Flooring," 26 Jan. 2017 Above this exemption, taxable gifts are subtracted from an individual’s lifetime estate- and gift-tax exemption, which is currently $11.4 million per person. WSJ, "WSJ Tax Guide 2019: Estate and Gift Taxes," 15 Feb. 2019 If Tesla spends $1 million for a piece of equipment, accountants will subtract that full amount from free cash flow in the current quarter. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla’s cash crunch, explained," 26 July 2018 For its second year Genius will encompass 10 collections, with three new names added to the line-up, and one subtracted. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "A Genius Development: The New Designers—And Dog—Joining Moncler’s Rapidly Expanding Megastructure," 1 Feb. 2019 Others take a different approach, like SunTrust, which subtracts the cost from deposit-account service charges. Rachel Louise Ensign, WSJ, "These Bank Customers Are Making a Bundle on Their Deposits," 22 June 2018 Buy Photo The Shawnee boys’ basketball team this season subtracted two key players and added two keen assistant coaches. Phil Anastasia,, "Sean Heine and Pat Kernan lead way for Shawnee from sideline," 14 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subtract.' 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 subtract

1557, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for subtract

Latin subtractus, past participle of subtrahere to draw from beneath, withdraw, from sub- + trahere to draw

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Statistics for subtract

Last Updated

6 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for subtract

The first known use of subtract was in 1557

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More Definitions for subtract



English Language Learners Definition of subtract

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


sub·​tract | \ səb-ˈtrakt How to pronounce subtract (audio) \
subtracted; subtracting

Kids Definition of subtract

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on subtract

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with subtract

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for subtract

Spanish Central: Translation of subtract

Nglish: Translation of subtract for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of subtract for Arabic Speakers

Comments on subtract

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