Mathematical symbols make it easier to write and solve problems without using long sentences. They are a universal language that lets mathematicians around the world communicate clearly and efficiently. By learning and understanding these symbols, you can solve problems more easily and understand mathematical concepts better.

## Basic Mathematical Symbols – Name, Meaning, Examples

The below table shows the list of basic math symbols along with their meaning.

Symbol |
Symbol Name in Maths |
Math Symbols Meaning |
Example |

≠ |
not equal sign | inequality | 10 ≠ 6 |

= |
equal sign | equality | 3 = 1 + 2 |

< |
strict inequality | less than | 7 < 10 |

> |
strict inequality | greater than | 6 > 2 |

≤ |
inequality | less than or equal to | x ≤ y, means, y = x or y > x, but not vice-versa. |

≥ |
inequality | greater than or equal to | a ≥ b, means, a = b or a > b, but vice-versa does not hold true. |

[ ] |
brackets | calculate expression inside first | [2 × 5] + 7 = 10 + 7 = 17 |

( ) |
parentheses | calculate expression inside first | 3 × (3 + 7) = 3 × 10 = 30 |

− |
minus sign | subtraction | 5 − 2 = 3 |

+ |
plus sign | addition | 4 + 5 = 9 |

∓ |
minus – plus | both minus and plus operations | 1 ∓ 4 = -3 and 5 |

± |
plus – minus | both plus and minus operations | 5 ± 3 = 8 and 2 |

× |
times sign | multiplication | 4 × 3 = 12 |

* |
asterisk | multiplication | 2 * 3 = 6 |

÷ |
division sign / obelus | division | 15 ÷ 5 = 3 |

∙ |
multiplication dot | multiplication | 2 ∙ 3 = 6 |

– |
horizontal line | division / fraction | 8/2 = 4 |

/ |
division slash | division | 6 ⁄ 2 = 3 |

mod |
modulo | remainder calculation | 7 mod 3 = 1 |

ab |
power | exponent | 24 = 16 |

. |
period | decimal point, decimal separator | 4.36 = 4 +(36/100) |

√a |
square root | √a · √a = a | √9 = ±3 |

a^b |
caret | exponent | 2 ^ 3 = 8 |

4√a |
fourth root | 4√a ·4√a · 4√a · 4√a = a | 4√16= ± 2 |

3√a |
cube root | 3√a ·3√a · 3√a = a | 3√343 = 7 |

% |
percent | 1% = 1/100 | 10% × 30 = 3 |

n√a |
n-th root (radical) | n√a · n√a · · · n times = a | for n = 3, n√8 = 2 |

ppm |
per-million | 1 ppm = 1/1000000 | 10ppm × 30 = 0.0003 |

‰ |
per-mille | 1‰ = 1/1000 = 0.1% | 10‰ × 30 = 0.3 |

ppt |
per-trillion | 1ppt = 10-12 | 10ppt × 30 = 3×10-10 |

ppb |
per-billion | 1 ppb = 1/1000000000 | 10 ppb × 30 = 3×10-7 |

## Mathematics Symabols with Examples

Let’s explore some of the most important mathematical symbols you will come across from class 8 to class 12!

### 1. The Basics: Addition (+), Subtraction (−), Multiplication (×), and Division (÷)

These four symbols are the building blocks of arithmetic.

**Addition (+):**This symbol is used when you want to add two or more numbers together. For example, 3 + 5 = 8.**Subtraction (−):**This symbol indicates that you want to subtract one number from another. For instance, 9 − 4 = 5.**Multiplication (×):**This is used to multiply numbers. An example would be 6 × 7 = 42. Sometimes, you might also see the dot symbol (·) or parentheses for multiplication, like 6⋅7 or 6(7).**Division (÷):**Division is splitting a number into equal parts. For example, 20 ÷ 4 = 5. You might also see the division represented by a slash (/), like 20/4 = 5.

### 2. Equals (=)

The equals sign === is used to show that two expressions are the same. For example, 2 +2 = 4. It’s like a mathematical way of saying “is the same as.”

### 3. Variables: x, y, and z

In algebra, we often use letters like x, y, and z to represent unknown values. For example, in the equation x + 3 =7, x represents a number that makes the equation true (in this case, x =4).

### 4. Exponents (^)

Exponents are used to show how many times a number is multiplied by itself. The symbol for exponents is a caret (^). For example, 2^3 means 2 × 2 × 2, which equals 8. In math class, you might also see this written as a superscript, like 23.

### 5. Square Roots (√)

The square root symbol √ is used to find a number that, when multiplied by itself, gives the original number. For example, √16 =4 because 4 ×4 =16.

### 6. Pi (π)

Pi (π) is a very special symbol in mathematics. It represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. No matter how big or small the circle is, this ratio is always about 3.14159. We often round it to 3.14 for simplicity.

### 7. Infinity (∞)

The infinity symbol ∞ represents a value that is limitless or without end. It’s used in various branches of mathematics to describe things that go on forever.

### 8. Inequality Symbols: >, <, ≥, ≤

Inequality symbols are used to compare two values.

**Greater than (>):**7 >5 means 7 is greater than 5.**Less than (<):**3 <8 means 3 is less than 8.**Greater than or equal to (≥):**x ≥4 means x is 4 or larger.**Less than or equal to (≤):**y ≤ 10 means y is 10 or smaller.

### 9. Absolute Value (| |)

The absolute value symbol ∣∣| |∣∣ shows the distance of a number from zero on the number line, without considering direction. For instance, ∣−5∣ =5 and ∣5∣ =5.

### 10. Summation (Σ)

The summation symbol Σ is used to add up a sequence of numbers. For example, [latex]\Sigma_{i=1}^5[/latex] means 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5.

### 11. Integral (∫)

The integral symbol ∫ is used in calculus to find the area under a curve. It’s a way to sum up infinitely many tiny pieces to get a total. For example, ∫f(x) dx represents the integral of the function f(x) with respect to x.

### 12. Parentheses ( )

Parentheses are used to group parts of a mathematical expression. They show which operations should be performed first. For example, in 2 × (3 + 4), you add 3 and 4 first because they are inside the parentheses, and then multiply the result by 2.

### 13. Factorial (!)

The factorial symbol !!! is used to multiply a series of descending natural numbers. For example, 5! =5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1 = 120.

### 14. Modulus (mod)

The modulus operation finds the remainder after division. For instance, 14 mod 3 is 2 because 14 divided by 3 is 4 with a remainder of 2.