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

The object $b$ is known as the subtrahend 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 subtrahend derives from the Latin subtrahendus numerus, meaning number which is to be subtracted.