What Are Greater Than and Less Than Symbols?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 13, 2020 9:27:59 PM ET

The greater than symbol is > and the less than symbol is <. These symbols are used in mathematics to compare two numbers or equations.


These symbols are used when two numbers or equations are not equal. The number or equation that is the larger of the two is placed on the open side of each symbol and the smaller of the two is placed on the closed side of the symbol. When comparing two numbers, either symbol is used. For example, when comparing five and ten, one can write 10 > 5, since ten is larger than five. One can also write 5 < 10, because five is smaller than ten.