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Subtract Definition and Meaning

By Urooj Arif & Maham Liaqat — Published on May 5, 2024
Subtract refers to take one number or amount away from another in arithmetic. e.g., She learned to subtract numbers quickly in her math class.

Subtract Definitions

To perform the mathematical operation of subtraction.
The children were taught to subtract using both numbers and objects.
To deduct one number from another.
Subtract four from ten to get six.
To isolate or exclude a particular variable or factor in an analysis.
To understand the trend, you must subtract the seasonal effects.
To remove a part from a whole in calculation.
If you subtract the expenses from the income, you'll find the profit.
To diminish or lessen the amount or size of something.
Subtracting salt from your diet can improve heart health.
To take away something, reducing the total or sum.
Subtracting distractions helped him focus better.
To take away qualities, characteristics, or properties, metaphorically speaking.
Subtracting any bias is crucial for fair analysis.
To decrease or reduce the effectiveness or impact of something.
Using the car less will subtract from your monthly fuel expenses.
To deduct points or penalties in a game or competition.
The judge had to subtract points for the error in the routine.
To take away; deduct.
To perform the arithmetic operation of subtraction.
To remove or reduce; especially to reduce a quantity or number
If you subtract the $100 for gas from the total cost, it was a fairly inexpensive trip.
To withdraw, or take away, as a part from the whole; to deduct; as, subtract 5 from 9, and the remainder is 4.
Make a subtraction
To eliminate or take out from a set or group.
When you subtract the outliers, the data look more consistent.

Subtract Snonyms


To make something smaller in amount, size, or degree.
Decrease your speed as you approach the school zone.


Used to indicate subtraction or that something is being taken away.
Five minus two equals three.


To make smaller or less in amount, degree, or size.
Reduce the brightness of your screen to save battery.


To make less in amount, degree, or size.
Drinking water can lessen your appetite.


To take something away from a place, thus reducing the total.
Remove the outdated information from the document.


To make less, decrease, or cause to appear smaller.
The new policy may diminish the company's profits.


To take away a part from a whole, usually involving numbers or money.
Deduct the cost of supplies from your total income.


Completely remove or get rid of something.
Eliminate all errors before submitting your report.

Subtract from

To cause a reduction in the quality, quantity, or importance of something.
Nothing could subtract from her overall performance.

Take away

Similar to subtracting, often used in more casual or everyday contexts.
Take away the extra chairs to make more room.

Subtract Idioms & Phrases

Subtract from the equation

To eliminate or disregard a factor or element in considering a situation.
If you subtract from the equation the initial costs, the project is profitable.

Subtract across the board

To reduce or eliminate uniformly in all areas.
The budget cuts required them to subtract across the board.

Subtract by degrees

To gradually reduce something in stages.
He decided to subtract by degrees his involvement in the business.

Subtract and add up

To make various changes that compensate for each other, in a metaphorical sense.
Life tends to subtract and add up in unexpected ways.

Subtract one from another

To compare two things by considering their differences.
Subtract one opinion from another to see the range of perspectives.

Subtract from the record

To remove or erase from official or public records.
The error was eventually subtracted from the record.

Subtract to zero

To reduce something until nothing is left.
The company's poor strategy quickly subtracted its profits to zero.

Subtract with precision

To carefully and accurately remove or reduce specific parts.
The surgeon needed to subtract with precision during the operation.

Subtract from memory

To try to forget or disregard certain experiences or information.
She wished she could subtract from memory the embarrassing incident.

Subtract from the total

To deduct from the overall amount or sum.
Subtract from the total any donations received during the event.

Subtract in haste, repent at leisure

A caution against making quick reductions or decisions without full consideration.
He found that to subtract in haste, repent at leisure, after cutting the project's budget too drastically.

Subtract without trace

To eliminate something without leaving any indication that it was ever present.
The software was designed to subtract data without trace for security purposes.

Subtract from the spotlight

To draw attention away from something or someone.
The co-star's performance subtracted from the spotlight of the lead actor.

Subtract for clarity

Removing unnecessary parts to make something clearer or easier to understand.
Subtract for clarity in your writing to keep the reader engaged.

Subtract to enhance

Paradoxically, removing elements to improve the overall quality or effectiveness of something.
They found that subtracting to enhance the design actually made the product more appealing.

Subtract from view

To hide or make less visible.
The curtains were used to subtract from view the construction outside.

Subtract Example Sentences

When you subtract the expenses, the profit margin looks good.
Subtract 20% from the original price during the sale.
You can subtract 5 from 15 to get 10.
It's important to subtract personal feelings from business decisions.
Can you subtract this column of numbers for me?
They had to subtract several scenes from the movie to shorten its runtime.
Subtract the variable costs to find the fixed cost.
She taught her students how to subtract fractions.
We need to subtract three days from our vacation due to the budget cut.
To solve the puzzle, subtract the smaller number from the larger number.
The coach had to subtract a player from the team due to injury.

Common Curiosities

Why is it called subtract?

It's called "subtract" from the Latin "subtrahere," which means "to pull away from beneath," effectively describing the action of taking away.

How many syllables are in subtract?

There are two syllables in "subtract."

How do we divide subtract into syllables?

The word "subtract" is divided into syllables as sub-tract.

What is the first form of subtract?

The first form of "subtract" is "subtract."

What is a stressed syllable in subtract?

The stressed syllable in "subtract" is the second syllable, -tract.

How is subtract used in a sentence?

Subtract is used as a verb to describe the action of taking away amounts or numbers.

What is the pronunciation of subtract?

Subtract is pronounced as /səbˈtrækt/.

What is the third form of subtract?

The third form of "subtract" is also "subtracted."

What is the second form of subtract?

The second form of "subtract" is "subtracted."

What is another term for subtract?

Another term for subtract is "deduct."

What is the verb form of subtract?

The verb form is "subtract."

Is subtract a noun or adjective?

Subtract is a verb.

Is subtract an abstract noun?

No, subtract is not a noun; it is a verb.

Is subtract a collective noun?

Subtract is not a noun and therefore not a collective noun.

What is the root word of subtract?

The root word of "subtract" is the Latin "trahere," meaning "to pull."

Is subtract a negative or positive word?

Subtract is a neutral word; it describes a mathematical action without inherent positive or negative connotations.

Is subtract a countable noun?

Subtract is not a noun; it is a verb.

Is the subtract term a metaphor?

Subtract can be used metaphorically to describe reducing or removing elements in non-mathematical contexts.

Which vowel is used before subtract?

As a verb, "subtract" doesn't typically require a vowel before it.

What part of speech is subtract?

Subtract is a verb.

Which preposition is used with subtract?

The preposition "from" is commonly used with "subtract," as in "subtract from the total."

Which conjunction is used with subtract?

Common conjunctions like "and" or "but" can be used in sentences involving the verb "subtract."

Which article is used with subtract?

Articles are not typically used with the verb "subtract."

What is the singular form of subtract?

Subtract is both the singular and plural form as a verb.

Is the word subtract a Gerund?

No, "subtract" itself is not a gerund; however, "subtracting" is the gerund form.

Is the word “subtract” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

Subtract can serve as a verb where its object is direct; e.g., "He subtracted the amount from the total."

What is the plural form of subtract?

The verb "subtract" does not change in plural form; it remains "subtract."

What is the opposite of subtract?

The opposite of subtract is "add."

Is subtract an adverb?

No, subtract is not an adverb.

Is subtract a vowel or consonant?

The word "subtract" starts with a consonant.

Is the word subtract imperative?

Subtract can be used in the imperative form as a command; e.g., "Subtract 2 from 5."

Which determiner is used with subtract?

Common determiners are not typically used with "subtract" since it is a verb.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

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