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# subset: Wikis

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In mathematics, especially in set theory, a set A is a subset of a set B if A is "contained" inside B. Notice that A and B may coincide. The relationship of one set being a subset of another is called inclusion.

## Definitions

If A and B are sets and every element of A is also an element of B, then:

• A is a subset of (or is included in) B, denoted by $A \subseteq B$,
or equivalently
• B is a superset of (or includes) A, denoted by $B \supseteq A.$

If A is a subset of B, but A is not equal to B (i.e. there exists at least one element of B not contained in A), then

• A is also a proper (or strict) subset of B; this is written as $A\subsetneq B.$
or equivalently
• B is a proper superset of A; this is written as $B\supsetneq A.$

For any set S, the inclusion relation ⊆ is a partial order on the set 2S of all subsets of S (the power set of S).

## The symbols ⊂ and ⊃

Some authors use the symbols ⊂ and ⊃ to indicate "subset" and "superset" respectively, instead of the symbols ⊆ and ⊇, but with the same meaning. So for example, for these authors, it is true of every set A that A ⊂ A.

Other authors prefer to use the symbols ⊂ and ⊃ to indicate proper subset and superset, respectively, in place of $\subsetneq$ and $\supsetneq.$ This usage makes ⊆ and ⊂ analogous to ≤ and <. For example, if x ≤ y then x may be equal to y, or maybe not, but if x < y, then x definitely does not equal y, but is strictly less than y. Similarly, using the "⊂ means proper subset" convention, if A ⊆ B, then A may or may not be equal to B, but if A ⊂ B, then A is definitely not equal to B.

## Examples

• The set {1, 2} is a proper subset of {1, 2, 3}.
• Any set is a subset of itself, but not a proper subset.
• The empty set, denoted by ∅, is also a subset of any given set X. (This statement is vacuously true.) The empty set is always a proper subset, except of itself.
• The set {x: x is a prime number greater than 2000} is a proper subset of {x: x is an odd number greater than 1000}
• The set of natural numbers is a proper subset of the set of rational numbers and the set of points in a line segment is a proper subset of the set of points in a line. These are counter-intuitive examples in which both the part and the whole are infinite, and the part has the same number of elements as the whole (see Cardinality of infinite sets).

## Other properties of inclusion

Inclusion is the canonical partial order in the sense that every partially ordered set (X, $\preceq$) is isomorphic to some collection of sets ordered by inclusion. The ordinal numbers are a simple example—if each ordinal n is identified with the set [n] of all ordinals less than or equal to n, then ab if and only if [a] ⊆ [b].

For the power set 2S of a set S, the inclusion partial order is (up to an order isomorphism) the Cartesian product of k = |S| (the cardinality of S) copies of the partial order on {0,1} for which 0 < 1. This can be illustrated by enumerating S = {s1, s2, …, sk} and associating with each subset TS (which is to say with each element of 2S) the k-tuple from {0,1}k of which the ith coordinate is 1 if and only if si is a member of T.

# Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

## English

• help, file

### Noun

 Singular subset Plural subsets

subset (plural subsets)

1. (set theory) With respect to another set, a set such that each of its elements is also an element of the other set.
The set of integers is a subset of the set of reals.
The set {a, b} is a both a subset and a proper subset of {a, b, c} while the set {a, b, c} is a subset of {a, b, c} but not a proper subset of {a, b, c}.
2. A group of things or people, all of which are in a specified larger group.
We asked a subset of the population of the town for their opinion.

# Simple English

A subset is a set which has some (or all) of the elements of another set, called superset, but does not have any elements that the superset does not have. A subset which does not have all the elements of its superset is called a proper subset. We use the symbol ⊆ to say a set is a subset of another set. We can also use ⊂ if it is a proper subset. The symbols ⊃ ⊇ are opposite - they tell us the second element is a (proper) subset of the first.

Examples:

• {1,2,3} is a proper subset of {-563,1,2,3,68}.
$\\left\{ 1,2,3\\right\} \subset \\left\{-563,1,2,3,68\\right\}$
$\left[0;1\right] \subset R$
$\left[0;1\right] \subset \left(R~\backslash ~R_-\right)$
• {46,189,1264} is its own subset, and it's a proper subset of the set of natural numbers.
$\\left\{ 46,189,1264\\right\} \subseteq \\left\{ 46,189,1264\\right\}$
$\\left\{ 46,189,1264\\right\} \subset N$