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subtraction,fundamental operation of arithmetic; the inverse of addition. If a and b are real numbers (see numbernumber,
entity describing the magnitude or position of a mathematical object or extensions of these concepts. The Natural Numbers
Cardinal numbers describe the size of a collection of objects; two such collections have the same (cardinal) number of objects if their
..... Click the link for more information. ), 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).
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The addition of one quantity with the negative of another; in a system with an additive operation this is formally the sum of one element with the additive inverse of another.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.