To concisely signify different mathematical operations a variety of signs and symbols are used. These mathematical operators and symbols range from simple addition and subtraction to more complicated operations like integration and the like.
There are many math notations and symbols that are in common use - the list below gives some of the more widely used symbols and notations.
|Mathematical Symbols List
|Explanation / example
of Mathematical Symbols
|The addition of two or more quantities, e.g. 2 + 3 = 5|
|-||Minus||This represents the subtraction of one quantity from another, e.g. 3 - 2 = 1|
|×||Multiplication, multiply||This operator represents the multiplication of two quantities, e.g. 3 × 2 = 6|
|*||Multiplication||The * is the same as the x multiplication sign, but it is often used in computer terminology as a result of possible confusion with the letter 'x'.|
|⋅||Multiplication||The ⋅ is the same as the × multiplication sign, but it is often used in mathematical notations to prevent possible confusion with the letter 'x'. e.g. y × x is often written as y ⋅ x.|
|÷||Division, divide||This is used to indicate that one number is divided by another, e.g. 3 ÷ 2 = 1.5|
|/||Division, divide||This is used instead of the ÷ character which is not widely used in computer characters. An example would be 3 / 2 = 5, and it represents the format of fractions.|
|=||Equals||x = y means that x and y are equal and represent the same value.|
|≠||Not equal to||x ≠ y means that x and y are not the same and do not represent the same value, e.g. 3 ≠ 4.|
|∴||Therefore, hence||Sometimes used in proofs before logical consequences|
|~||Similar to||m ~ n means the quantities m and n have the same order of magnitude, or general size, e.g. 110 ~ 111.|
|≈||Almost equal||x ≈ y means x is approximately equal to y, e.g. 110 ≈ 110.112233|
|∑||Sum||This sign is used where a sum of quantities is required, The range over which the sum takes places are normally marked at the bottom and top right hand sides of the ∑ sign.|
|≡||Equivalent||This sign is used to represent equivalence. The two items that are equivalent would not be directly equal.|
|√||Square root||This is used to indicate the square root of a number, e.g. √2 = 1.414|
|Integral||This is used to indicate that an equation is integrated. The range over which the integration takes places are normally marked at the bottom and top right hand sides of the ∫ sign. For example ∫ f(x) dx represents a function whose derivative is f.|
|Contour integral||Similar to the standard integral, but this mathematical symbol is used to denote a single integration over a contour, i.e. a closed curve or loop.|
|∝||Proportional||This symbol is used to indicate proportionality, possibly to show that when one figure doubles so does the other. For example y ∝ x when y = k ⋅ x|
|∧||AND||Used to indicate the Boolean "AND" operator|
|∨||OR||Used to indicate the Boolean "OR" operator|
|∠||Angle||Used to indicate an angle. It may be used in a variety of ways, possibly along with a figure to show it represents an angle.|
|⊥||Perpendicular||Used to indicate that two lines are perpendicular to each other.|
|±||Plus or minus.||Used in a variety of ways to indicate that the figure could be plus or minus. It is often used to provide a range, e.g. 10 ± 2 or equivalently 10 ± 20% means the range from 10 ? 2 to 10 + 2, or 10 + 20% or 10 - 20%.|
The use of mathematical or math notations and symbols along with some straightforward rules enables mathematical operations to be expressed in a logical form and provides for an environment where there is no room for ambiguity of what is intended.
As a result, these math operators and notations are used universally around the globe.