sub·​trac·​tion | \ səb-ˈtrak-shən How to pronounce subtraction (audio) \

Definition of subtraction

: an act, operation, or instance of subtracting: such as
a : the withdrawing or withholding of a right to which an individual is entitled
b : the operation of deducting one number from another

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Synonyms & Antonyms for subtraction



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Examples of subtraction in a Sentence

The children are learning addition and subtraction. the restaurant may not have raised the price, but there's definitely been a subtraction in the number of fries in a side order
Recent Examples on the Web The May number reflects 221,811 unemployed persons in May, compared to 302,535 in April, a subtraction of more than 80,700 workers from the jobless ranks, according to the Alabama Department of Labor. William Thornton |, al, "Unemployment in Alabama falls in May from 40-year high," 19 June 2020 Just as each added tally in the death count represents a subtraction from the human whole, the visceral and visual impact of the pandemic has been a mounting absence. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Pandemic Has Made a Mockery of Minimalism," 23 Apr. 2020 This isn't a tax deduction, rather a subtraction that can reduce your tax liabilities. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "What tax deductions and credits can I claim? Here are 9 overlooked ones that can save you money," 6 Mar. 2020 As with every franchise, the Chargers employ scouts whose jobs include charting the offseason roster additions and subtractions of every other team. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "If Chargers don’t pick quarterback in NFL draft, tackle or dominant defender likely," 22 Apr. 2020 At tax time, filers choose between a tax credit or a tax subtraction. Josh Verges, Twin Cities, "High earners claim MN tax breaks for college savings," 1 Dec. 2019 Further preparation for writing this story came with my surviving military service in Vietnam only to wash up in Manhattan during those terrifying years when H.I.V. made its first subtractions from my community. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, "Allan Gurganus on His Interest in Epidemics," 27 Apr. 2020 For example, second-grade mathematics standards are a student can do addition and subtraction with the value of 100, according to the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards. Jess Nocera,, "Howard schools eliminate class rank, change elementary school report cards," 26 June 2019 Kindergarten teacher Venée Guevara, for example, has become something of an amateur videographer, making short videos to teach her young students basic math concepts like addition and subtraction. Richard A. Marini,, "San Antonio teachers share tips for better online distance learning and schooling in age of coronavirus," 7 Apr. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for subtraction

Middle English subtraccion, from Anglo-French sustraction, subtraction, from Late Latin subtraction-, subtractio, from Latin subtrahere

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Time Traveler for subtraction

Time Traveler

The first known use of subtraction was in the 15th century

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Statistics for subtraction

Last Updated

23 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subtraction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce subtraction (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of subtraction

mathematics : the act or process of subtracting one number from another


sub·​trac·​tion | \ səb-ˈtrak-shən How to pronounce subtraction (audio) \

Kids Definition of subtraction

: the act or process of taking one number away from another

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