Definition of subtract in English:



[with object]
  • 1Take away (a number or amount) from another to calculate the difference.

    ‘subtract 43 from 60’
    • ‘Then by subtracting his count from the clock reading, he has the time at which the observation was made.’
    • ‘In first grade my teachers taught me how to add and subtract big numbers.’
    • ‘Profits are amounts that are calculated based on subtracting what something cost to make from what it grosses.’
    • ‘On standard problems, solutions were coded as covert when the child simply added or subtracted the correct number of chips in a single operation.’
    • ‘Dollar amounts were calculated by subtracting the rework cost from the Navy stock number ‘ready-for-issue’ value.’
    • ‘The index is calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents holding a positive outlook from the percentage of those with a negative outlook.’
    • ‘So to get the correct figure, we have to subtract the number of days when it was both.’
    • ‘To calculate the female population size, I subtracted the number of males from the estimated population size for both sexes.’
    • ‘The hemicellulose content was determined by subtracting the amount of cellulose from that of the holocellulose sample.’
    • ‘But when you fill out the worksheet, you must subtract the amount of your payment before those deductions, known as offsets.’
    • ‘Not only does the game add and subtract a number of different fields to generate a final total for a race, you can easily spend half a minute or more just watching the game tally up the number of mistakes you made.’
    • ‘Now, all that simple arithmetic simply means that you add 50 to your chosen number, then you subtract the chosen number!’
    • ‘For example, gross margin equals cost of sales subtracted from revenue.’
    • ‘Net income was calculated by first subtracting each enterprise's total expenses from the total revenue.’
    • ‘The amount of protein was then determined by subtracting the amount of salt from the dry weight of the lyophilized sample.’
    • ‘Compliance was determined by subtracting the number of capsules returned by the subject at the final visit from the number of capsules dispensed at the outset of the study.’
    • ‘The overconfidence indices were calculated by subtracting the percentage of correct answers from the mean percentage of certainty.’
    • ‘The Red Sox in the 1970s had a system based on numerical values, requiring players to add and subtract the number of touches by a coach to determine the play.’
    • ‘Mikhail can spell words such as elephant, and add and subtract four-digit numbers, and is learning multiplication.’
    • ‘How do you count, add, and subtract in different bases?’
    take away, take from, take off, deduct, debit, abstract, discount, dock, remove, withdraw
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    1. 1.1 Take away (something) from something else so as to decrease the size, number, or amount.
      ‘programs were added and subtracted as called for’
      • ‘You can always add or subtract calories as needed.’
      • ‘Wear clothing in layers so you can add or subtract items to prevent chills or sweating.’
      • ‘In fact, it may not have had an author, because people added and subtracted stanzas and modified phrasing as they pleased.’
      • ‘These scenarios can be tailored to increase or decrease the level of difficulty by adding or subtracting additional targets and changing conditions.’
      • ‘This would require subtracting color which is iffy in the best of textile situations.’
      • ‘Are you planning on adding or subtracting products from the current lines you are handling or developing?’
      • ‘You can modify this list by adding or subtracting items to better suit your group of friends.’
      • ‘Some would prefer politics to stick to safer ground, forever debating whether we should add or subtract a penny in the pound from income tax.’
      • ‘Men were subtracted or added to industry, agriculture, or the armed forces on the basis of skills and experience.’
      • ‘It is also about balancing the acoustics, ensuring that the furnishings of the place add to the atmosphere by subtracting unattractive noise.’
      • ‘With improv, you're adding and subtracting things as you go, more haphazard, exciting.’
      • ‘Always adding rooms and never subtracting them will just make the place bigger - not necessarily better.’
      • ‘The years are beginning to follow into a pattern, wavering as we continue to add and subtract elements of our business and our lives, but growing more distinct all the time.’
      • ‘A hand shot out to grab one of them; he began to add and subtract various pieces, experimenting with tensile strength and durability.’
      • ‘Tonal language allied to a myriad disciplines adding or subtracting elements continues to thrive with no apparent plot to destroy it or make it illegal.’
      • ‘By adding and subtracting methyl groups, the two enzymes can adjust receptor sensitivity to mitigate the effect of ligand binding.’
      • ‘Wearing several layers - like a T-shirt, sweatshirt, and robe - makes it easy to add or subtract clothes as needed.’
      • ‘Add or subtract a piece or two according to season or whim.’
      • ‘Use gloved hands and a small trowel to add or subtract rock dust as needed to make sure each stone is at precisely the right height.’
      • ‘It is therefore forbidden to add or subtract any commandments from the Torah.’
      deduct, take away, remove
      deduct, remove, take away, take off
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Mid 16th century: from Latin subtract- ‘drawn away’, from sub- ‘from below’ + trahere ‘to draw’.