sub·​trac·​tive | \ səb-ˈtrak-tiv How to pronounce subtractive (audio) \

Definition of subtractive

1 : tending to subtract
2 : constituting or involving subtraction

Examples of subtractive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lovins’s subtractive insights were not destined for his house alone. Leidy Klotz, Scientific American, 12 May 2022 Note that subtractive changes would, on balance, better satisfy the instructions to save on costs. Leidy Klotz, Scientific American, 12 May 2022 So far, there are two main diet approaches for people with psoriasis: additive diets and subtractive diets. Sara Gaynes Levy, SELF, 29 Nov. 2021 Just as there are three primary additive and subtractive colors, there are three charges and anti-charges for the strong forces. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2021 But many of the colors that human beings can see emitting them as light, not reflected, not subtractive pigments, but an admissive surface, showed this picture of a dress that became the super unusual thing, which is a bi-modal color illusion. Wired Staff, Wired, 28 May 2021 By their subtractive nature, such designs are already light on the wrist. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 24 June 2021 The additive/subtractive decision-making strategy is also at play when companies search for a new manager. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 17 Apr. 2021 Scientists at the University of Virginia conducted eight experiments in which participants could choose an additive or a subtractive strategy. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 17 Apr. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of subtractive

1690, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for subtractive

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The first known use of subtractive was in 1690

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Dictionary Entries Near subtractive

subtraction sign


subtractive primary

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Statistics for subtractive

Last Updated

1 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Subtractive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on subtractive

Britannica English: Translation of subtractive for Arabic Speakers


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