Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A distinguishing character or symbol written directly beneath or next to and slightly below a letter or number.
  • adj. Written beneath.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of lettering form written lower than the things around it.
  • n. A numerical index into an array.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Written below or underneath. (See under iota.) Specifically (Math.), said of marks, figures, or letters (suffixes), written below and usually to the right of other letters to distinguish them. See suffix, n., 2, and subindex.
  • n. Anything written below.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Written beneath: as, the Greek iota (ι) subscript, so written since the twelfth century in the improper diphthongs (α%26ι), (ηι), (ωι): opposed to adscript (as in Ἀι, Ἠι, Ὠι). This ι had become mute by about 200 b. c., and was sometimes written (adscript), sometimes omitted.
  • n. Something written beneath.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a character or symbol set or printed or written beneath or slightly below and to the side of another character
  • adj. written or printed below and to one side of another character

Etymologies

From Latin subscrīptus, past participle of subscrībere, to subscribe; see subscribe.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Speaking of R-si, I was amused to learn in my mechanical engineering lecture the other day that "Rsys" sys is a subscript is the numerical expression of the reliability of a system.

    Contingency Plans: Fresh Rolls, Pit Dogs, Wet Feet, and Spare Wheels

  • I will copy text * within a single document* (e.g., symbols with subscripts) and when I paste it within the same document, the formatting (of the subscript) is lost.

    Discourse.net: Word Hell

  • Hansen and Quinn give us eight distinct patterns, such as “alpha followed by an epsilon becomes long alpha, alpha followed by epsilon iota becomes long alpha with an iota subscript,” and so on, for eight impossible to memorize (at least for me) rules.

    greek is hard « paper fruit

  • All that is missing for notation is the subscript S on the integration sign to designate surface integral; and this is not particularly unusual or exceptional.

    Rabett Run

  • It's simply that Arthur's notation is standard and identical in every respect to what Wolfram does -- excepting only the omission of the subscript S on the integral sign to help underline that it is a surface integral.

    Rabett Run

  • There's NO notation difference from the Wolfram reference, apart from using "x" rather than "a" as the integration variable to identify a point on the surface, and omitting the subscript "S" on the integration sign.

    Rabett Run

  • The new equation editor, subscript, and superscript tools make it possible for math and science teachers and their students to use Google Docs for more of their document creations.

    Google Docs Adds Academic Features

  • There is a new subscript and superscript tool that can be used in writing chemical compounds and mathematics equations.

    Google Docs Adds Academic Features

  • The sign outside said WME2—kind of like a vanity plate, but with a little “M” and a subscript “2.”

    At Wilshire and Rodeo, Ari of “Entourage” and Ari of “WME2″ - Carpetbagger Blog - NYTimes.com

  • University of Chicago Press 2008 journal subscript ...

    August 2007

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