What Do Math Symbols Mean?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 10, 2020 11:52:07 PM ET

Symbols are used in all branches of math to represent a formula or procedure, express a condition or to denote a constant. The four basic operations are denoted by the following symbols: “+” implies addition, “-“ implies subtraction, “x” implies multiplication, and “/” implies division. Math symbols summarize both short and long processes, saving time and space when writing.

A math concept is not connected to the symbol representing it. Usually a symbol is synonymous with a corresponding concept, but the meaning of a math symbol is dictated by a given convention. For example, the symbol “?” denotes equivalent but may also represent equality in some formulas.

Here is a list of the most fundamental mathematical symbols and their corresponding meanings: “<” denotes less than, “>” denotes greater than, “=” denotes equal, “?” denotes not equal, “?” denotes approximately equal to, “?” denotes perpendicular, “°” denotes degree, “?” denotes pi or 3.14, “?” denotes infinity, “m” denotes the slope of a line, “P” denotes perimeter, “A” denotes area, “V” denotes volume, “a:b” denotes ratio, “()” denotes parentheses for grouping, “?” denotes square root, “?” denotes summation, “?” denotes a right angle, “| |” denotes absolute value, “U” denotes union, “?” denotes intersection and “mod” denotes remainder calculation.