Definition of subscript in English:



  • (of a letter, figure, or symbol) written or printed below the line.

    • ‘Of course we have modernised the notation, for example subscript notation was not used in Parseval's time, and we have also corrected his theorem for he omitted the first 2 on the left hand side.’
    • ‘The average number of the repetitions is shown as a subscript index’
    • ‘Here and henceforth, the sum is over all mutations, the subscript E denotes segregating [equilibrium (E)] mutations, and the overbar indicates the arithmetic mean.’
    • ‘We refer to the frequencies of double reduction and recombination fraction between the markers for parent P by, ß, and without the subscript P, unless otherwise specified.’
    • ‘But, what is interesting here is that this particular industrial strength beast has subscript keys.’


  • 1A subscript letter, figure, or symbol.

    • ‘When dealing with ionic compounds, the smallest whole-number subscripts are always used.’
    • ‘Lowercase letters and subscripts are used identically to those described for variance components.’
    • ‘Note that superscripts represent ligand sites (if known) and subscripts refer to processes.’
    • ‘For convenience, we henceforth drop the superscripts and subscripts indicating deme identities.’
    • ‘For convenience, we consider only the case of two alleles at each of the three loci and the notation in this case is varied to reduce the superscripts and subscripts.’
    1. 1.1Computing A symbol (notionally written as a subscript but in practice usually not) used in a program, alone or with others, to specify one of the elements of an array.
      • ‘Overloading - getitem - implies the user can ask for any subscript in any order.’
      • ‘Conventionally solving these two programming issues involves writing explicit programming code to manually adjust the subscripts in a two-dimensional array.’
      appendix, codicil, postscript, afterword, tailpiece, rider, coda, supplement, accompaniment
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Early 18th century: from Latin subscript- written below, from the verb subscribere (see subscribe).