What Does It Mean When Three Dots Are Shaped in a Triangle?

Sarah Witherby/CC-BY-SA 2.0

The meaning of a symbol with three dots arranged in a triangle can have different meanings based on context; for example, in mathematical proofs, a triangle made of three dots can serve as the therefore sign, a symbol that can be placed in front of a logical consequence. In other contexts, three dots arranged into a triangle can be a symbolic tattoo that is commonly found on Hispanic prisoners in the United States or as a masonic or alchemical symbol representing balance. In some cases, the three dots may be a representation of the holy trinity of the Christian religion.

In mathematical proofs, three dots arranged in a triangle can represent either the “therefore” sign or the “because” sign. The “therefore” sign appears as an upright triangle made of three dots, with one dot on top and two on the bottom. The “because” sign is the opposite, with three dots arranged into an inverted triangle, two on the top and one on the bottom. These symbols can be used in syllogism with either numbers, letters or words. For example, one could say that because all Gods are immortal, and because Jupiter is a god, therefore Jupiter is immortal, with the “because” and “therefore” symbols standing in for those words.