What Is an Inequality in Math?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 13, 2020 5:57:12 PM ET

In mathematics, inequalities are a set of five symbols used to demonstrate instances where one value is not the same as another value. The five symbols are described as "not equal to," "greater than," "greater than or equal to," "less than" and "less than or equal to."


The first inequality, "not equal to," is symbolized by an equal sign with a diagonal cross through it (≠). It is the opposite of an equality, and shows only that two values are not identical. The "greater than" inequalities are symbolized by the right angle bracket (>). The "less than" inequalities use the left angle bracket (<). The inequalities that end in "or equal to" add an equal sign under their respective brackets (≥ and ≤).