### Topic Page: Subtraction

**subtraction**from

*The Columbia Encyclopedia*

fundamental operation of arithmetic; the inverse of addition. If a and b are real numbers (see number), then the number a-b is that number (called the difference) which when added to b (the subtractor) equals a (the subtrahend). In terms of addition the symbol -b is called the additive inverse of b with the property that the sum of a number and its inverse equals 0, or b+(-b)=0. It follows that -(-b)=b. The subtraction of b from a is the same as the addition of a and the inverse of b, or a-b=a+(-b); e.g., when a=10 and b=5, then 10-5=10+(-5).

### Video

### Related Credo Articles

##### Full text Article subtraction

The inverse operation to addition; the process, for two given numbers, of finding a third which, added to one of the numbers, gives the other,...

##### Full text Article subtract

[16 century] To subtract something is etymologically to ‘pull it away’. The word comes from subtractus , the past participle of Latin ...

##### Full text Article subtraction

/səb‘trækən/ noun An act of taking one number away from another ...