What would the word be here? For now, I'm using "subtracted", but it sounds ...odd.

Say I have a computer program that takes a bunch of dollar values, say $1.2345338, $3.293383828, $2.393948, etc. and does some rounding, and then adds them together. Sometimes, I add two numbers and it's technically 2 decimal places above, sometimes below.

Please note that due to rounding in the system, there may be an additional or [WORD] cent.

Or how a margin of error can be +2/-2 points...you could say that "Due to the Sampling Methods, there can be an additional two, or a [WORD] two points."

Looking up antonyms, I found "fewer", but the "parallelism" isn't there. Is there a word more in line with "additional" that's the opposite?

I'm also open to changing using "additional", if there's a word combination that's more parallel, if that makes sense.

(Note: Looking for something a tad more formal that just "...give or take a cent or two")

  • You might be able to use "deficit", or maybe "shortage".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 23:33
  • 2
    "absent cent"? "missing cent"? They sound a bit awkward. Maybe "Due to rounding in the system, the final value may be one cent greater or lesser than expected" or "Due to rounding in the system, the final amount may be a cent or two off in either direction"? That's better, but I'm sure someone can come up with something even nicer-sounding Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 23:34
  • One thing you can do is to create multiple sample sentences, here in your question, that cover all possible usages of the word, at least in your specific context. As it is, "additional" has multiple meanings. People use it for countable things (additional spoons of sugar), uncountable things (additional sugar), and qualities (additional sweetness). If you can narrow your specific use cases for us, you/we might find it easier to choose a word, because with it wide open like this, it's actually difficult to think of a word that works in all cases.
    – Aiken Drum
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 5:22

2 Answers 2


In a self-deleted answer to this question, a highly respected site participant suggested the word decremental, the adjective form of decrement, which The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fifth edition (2010) defines (in its special mathematical sense) as "The amount by which a variable is decreased; a negative increment."

I doubt that you'll be able to find a better serious descriptive term than decremental for the phenomenon you ask about. But it isn't in especially wide spread use, so you would be sending a fair proportion of your readers to a dictionary to find out what it means.

I agree with you that the blasé-sounding phrase "give or take a cent or two" strikes the wrong tone—and in any case, if the rounding error yields a difference of more than one cent either way, the rounding method is probably too coarse. But if your goal is to convey the situation with appropriate seriousness while avoiding recondite vocabulary choices, I recommend using this wording:

Please note that rounding in the system may yield a figure that is one cent higher or lower than the actual number.

  • Thanks very much for your answer, I like it! And I like your alternative wording because, while not my specific question, does get to my more general one/the bigger idea behind it. Cheers!
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 6:52
  • As much as it is good that the questioner liked this answer, I feel this answer is ultimately incorrect. It is clear that "decremental" and "incremental" are antonyms, so if "decremental" were truly the antonym of both "additional" and "incremental", then "additional" and "incremental" should be synonymous. They aren't, though, not in any sense of either word that I can think of. I think this answer is well-intentioned and even going in the right general direction, but ultimately it's on the wrong path. I'm just not sure there even exists a suitable path & destination.
    – Aiken Drum
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 6:10

Try using "reductive" and "reductional" as antonyms of "additive" and "additional."

  • 4
    You can strengthen this answer by citing relevant definitions of the suggested terms that you find in a dictionary, citing the source and linking to it (if possible).
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 0:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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