A multiplier is a number by which another number is multiplied. What do you call a number by which another number is added or subtracted?

  • It's the addend.
    – Matt
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 19:12
  • Genius. Does that work for subtraction as well, or is the terminology different? By the way, you should make that an official answer so I can mark it as correct.
    – David
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 19:15
  • 2
    minuend minus subtrahend equals (directed difference) ( see at factmonster.com/ipka/A0881931.html ; but 'difference' is always taken as the absolute value, even when taking a larger from a smaller number, which this doesn't cover) Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 19:18
  • Got it. So for addition it's addend and for subtraction it's subtrahend. Thanks!
    – David
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 19:27

3 Answers 3


There is the multiplier (that which multiplies) and the multiplicand (that which is to be multiplied).

For subtraction there is the subtrahend (that which is to be subtracted) and the minuend (that which is to be diminished).

For division there is the divisor (that which divides) and the dividend (that which is to be divided).

These words with -and or -end are Latin future participles.

  • 2
    Your answer was a bit more straightforward. For those looking for a quick answer, it might be useful to add another sentence about addend in the same format. Thanks!
    – David
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 22:14

There are a couple of mathematical points to make which inform the English involved.

(1) 'Addition' (yes, simple addition!) covers two major operations:

(a) Combination of two elements from a set (a binary operation) (eg 3 marbles + 2 marbles = 5 marbles).

(b) Transformation of one element into another (a unary operation) (eg a 3cm-long worm grows by 2cm )

Both are modelled identically by 3 + 2 = 5, but a transformation arrow with '+2' over the top is fitting for the transformation.

In the first case, addend + addend = sum / total

In the second case, augend + addend = sum / total.

(2) We've had a thread discussing the fact that there is no agreed term for the result of a subtraction; 'directed difference' is used by some.


Probably, the answer is the "addend" and "subtrahend"

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.