In math, subtraction is when you take one number away from another number. In other words, the subtraction of two from five gives you an answer of three.

In school, subtraction is typically the second operation you learn in arithmetic, after addition. When a problem has you take four apples away from eight apples, that's subtraction. If you see the word minus, or the symbol -, that's also subtraction. The word itself comes from the Late Latin subtractionem, "a drawing back or taking away," from subtrahere, "take away," which combines sub, "from under," and trahere, "to pull."

Definitions of subtraction
  1. noun
    an arithmetic operation in which the difference between two numbers is calculated
    “the subtraction of three from four leaves one”
    synonyms: minus
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    type of:
    arithmetic operation
    a mathematical operation involving numbers
  2. noun
    the act of subtracting (removing a part from the whole)
    “he complained about the subtraction of money from their paychecks”
    synonyms: deduction
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    the act of adding one thing to another
    a portion removed from the whole
    the act of deducting from an employee's salary
    type of:
    decrease, diminution, reduction, step-down
    the act of decreasing or reducing something
Word Family

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