# Definition:Subtraction/Minuend

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## Definition

Let $a - b$ denote the operation of subtraction on two objects.

The object $a$ is known as the **minuend** of $a - b$.

Note that the nature of $a$ and $b$ has deliberately been left unspecified.

They could be, for example, numbers, matrices or more complex expressions constructed from such elements.

## Linguistic Note

The word **minuend** derives from the Latin **minuendus**, meaning **that which is to be diminished** (that is, **made smaller**).

## Sources

- 1989: Ephraim J. Borowski and Jonathan M. Borwein:
*Dictionary of Mathematics*... (previous) ... (next):**minuend**