verb (used with object)
to withdraw or take away, as a part from a whole.
Mathematics. to take (one number or quantity) from another; deduct.
verb (used without object)
to take away something or a part, as from a whole.
Origin: 1530–40; Related forms
< Latin subtractus
(past participle of subtrahere
to draw away from underneath), equivalent to sub- sub-
(past participle stem of trahere
to draw) + -tus
past participle suffix
1, 3. Subtract, deduct express diminution in sum or quantity. To subtract suggests taking a part from a whole or a smaller from a larger: to subtract the tax from one's salary. To deduct is to take away an amount or quantity from an aggregate or total so as to lessen or lower it: to deduct a discount. Subtract is both transitive and intransitive, and has general or figurative uses; deduct is always transitive and usually concrete and practical in application.