an act or instance of subtracting.
Mathematics. the operation or process of finding the difference between two numbers or quantities, denoted by a minus sign (−).

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin subtractiōn- (stem of subtractiō) a withdrawing, equivalent to subtract(us) (see subtract) + -iōn- -ion

nonsubtraction, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
subtraction (səbˈtrækʃən)
1.  the act or process of subtracting
2.  a mathematical operation in which the difference between two numbers or quantities is calculated. Usually indicated by the symbol (--)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1400, "withdrawal, removal," from L.L. subtractionem (nom. subtractio) "a drawing back, taking away," from L. subtractus, pp. of subtrahere "take away, draw off," from sub "from under" + trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (1)). The mathematical sense is attested from early
15c. The verb subtract is first recorded c.1540.
"Þou most know þat subtraccion is drawynge of one nowmber oute of anoþer nomber." ["The Crafte of Nombrynge," c.1425]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
subtraction   (səb-trāk'shən)  Pronunciation Key 
The operation of finding the difference between two numbers or quantities.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
None of this star subtraction would be possible without adaptive optics-a means
  of sharpening telescope images.
There are also simple addition and subtraction games.
And the circuit for moving eyes left does mental subtraction.
She also tested the monkeys' ability to do subtraction by covering a number of
  objects and then removing some of them.
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