announcement

Update: Check new design of our homepage!

Exhaustive List of Mathematical Symbols and Their Meaning

List of Mathematical Symbols and Their Meaning
Finding it difficult to recollect the exact meaning of a notation while solving mathematical equations? Don't worry, ScienceStruck is here to help you out. Here's a list of mathematical symbols and their meaning, for your reference.
ScienceStruck Staff
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2018
Did You Know?
The first mathematical symbols to be used were ciphers. They were introduced even before the written language was introduced.
Mathematics or math is considered to be the language of science, vital to understanding and explaining science behind natural occurrences and phenomena. It also happens to be one of the most dreaded subjects of most students the world over. Utter the word mathematics and even grown ups are known to shudder at the mere mention of it! We shall not delve into the reasons for this, but the variety of symbols used in equations also happen to add to the dread. Each branch of mathematics has its own special symbols that represent a particular concept. Thus, it is necessary for you to at least have a ready reference list of these conventions so that you don't mistake one for the other.

We have put forth a consolidated list of all the symbols used in various branches of mathematics. So, the next time you try to solve any math problem, you will at least know what the notations stand for!
Basic Symbols
Plus
Plus
It signifies addition of values.
Minus
Minus
It symbolizes subtraction of values.
Multiplication
Multiplication
It signifies multiplication of values.
Division
Division
It denotes division of values.
Equals
Equals
It signifies two sides are equal.
Not Equal
Not Equal
It denotes two sides are unequal.
Greater than
Greater than
It shows one value is greater than the other.
Less than
Less than
It implies one value is less than the other.
Greater than or equal to
Greater than or equal to
It symbolizes one value is greater than or equal to the other.
Less than or equal to
Less than or equal to
It indicates one value is less than or equal to the other.
Modulo
Modulo
It signifies finding the remainder of division of two numbers.
Plus - minus/Minus - plus
Plus - minus
It denotes, the value can be both plus and minus.
Parentheses
Parentheses
It implies calculation of the equation inside it should be carried out first.
Brackets
 [ ]
It indicates calculation of the equation inside it should be carried out first.
Exponent
Exponent
It signifies the number of times the number is used in multiplication.
Square root
Square root
It symbolizes the value that can be multiplied by itself to give the original number.
Cube root
Cube root
It gives the value that can be multiplied by itself three times to give the original number.
Fourth root
Fourth root
It is the value that can be multiplied by itself four times to give the original number.
Nth root (radical)
Nth root (radical)
It shows the value that can be multiplied by itself n times to give the original number.
Percent
Percent
It signifies ratio expressed as a fraction of 100.
Per-mille
Per-mille
It symbolizes number of parts per thousand.
Per-million
Per-million
It indicates number of parts per million.
Per-billion
Per-billion
It signifies number of parts per billion.
Per-trillion
Per-trillion
It symbolizes number of parts per trillion.
Geometric Symbols
Angle
Angle
It indicates the figure formed by two rays.
Measured angle
Measured angle
It signifies the angle whose value is known.
Right angle
Right angle
It indicates the angle that bisects the angle formed by two straight lines.
Spherical angle
Spherical angle
It symbolizes the angle between two intersecting arcs of a sphere.
Arcminute
Arcminute
It gives the angular measurement equal to 1/60 of one degree.
Degree
Degree
It indicates the measurement of plane angle representing one full rotation.
Arcsecond
Arcsecond
It signifies the angular measurement equal to 1/60 of one arcminute.
Line
Line
It shows the straight line with negligible width and thickness.
Line segment
Line segment
It signifies the part of line with definite start and endpoints.
Ray
Ray
It indicates the line with start point but no endpoint.
Arc
Arc
It signifies the part of circumference of circle or a curve.
Perpendicular
Perpendicular
It symbolizes lines that are at right angles to each other.
Congruent
Congruent
It symbolizes the objects with similar geometric shape and size.
Parallel
Parallel
It indicates the lines that are equidistant from each other.
Similarity
Weak approximation
It signifies objects with similar shape but not similar size.
Triangle
Triangle
It indicates polygon with three vertices and three line segments as edges.
Distance
Distance
It symbolizes the distance between the points x and y.
Grads
Grads
It symbolizes the unit of plane angle measurement and is equal to 1/400 of 1 turn (360 deg).
Pi
Pi
It gives the ratio between circumference and diameter of a circle.
Radians
Radians
It signifies the unit of angle measurement.
Algebra Symbols
Equivalence
Equivalence
It indicates variables having same or identical value.
X variable
X variable
It signifies an unknown value.
It symbolizes equality by definition.
It symbolizes equality by definition.
It indicates variables that are equal by definition.
Proportional
Proportional
It signifies changes in variables that are always related to each other, using a constant.
Approximation
Approximation
It symbolizes variables that are approximately equal to each other.
Weak approximation
Weak approximation
It signifies variables that are weakly similar to each other.
Factorial
Factorial
It signifies the product of all integers less than or equal to n.
Lemniscate/Infinity symbol
Lemniscate/Infinity symbol
It indicates a variable without any limit.
Much greater than
Much greater than
It indicates one variable is much greater than the other.
Much less than
Much less than
It symbolizes one variable is much less than the other.
Ceiling brackets
Ceiling brackets
It indicates rounding the variable value to higher integer.
Floor brackets
Floor brackets
It refers rounding the variable value to lower integer.
Function of
Function of
It defines one variable in relation to the other.
Absolute value
Absolute value
It gives a non-negative value of x, ignoring its sign.
Capital pi
Capital pi
It gives product of all values in the specified range.
Closed interval
Closed interval
It gives the interval with specified end points.
Function composition
Function composition
It combines functions such that output from function becomes input for the other function.
Open interval
Open interval
It symbolizes interval has no limits, i.e., without any end points.
Delta
Delta
It refers to change or difference in values.
Discriminant
Discriminant
It gives the nature of roots for a quadratic equation.
Sigma (Summation)
Sigma (Summation)
It refers to summation of all values in the specified range.
Double summation
Double summation
It signifies summation of values in two ranges.
Euler-Mascheroni constant
Euler-Mascheroni constant
The constant is equal to 0.527721566...
E constant / Euler's number
E constant / Euler's number
Its value is equal to 2.718281828...
Golden ratio constant
Golden ratio constant
It indicates ratio of two variables should be equal to the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two variables.
Linear Algebra Symbols
Cross Product (Vector)
Cross Product (Vector)
It refers to multiplying magnitudes of vectors and sin of angle between them.
Dot Product (Scalar)
Dot Product (Scalar)
It signifies multiplying magnitudes of vectors and cosine of angle between them.
Brackets
Brackets
It indicates rectangular array of numbers arranged in rows and columns.
Determinant
Determinant
It gives the value associated with a square matrix.
Norm
Norm
It assigns positive length (size) to each non-zero vector in space.
Inverse matrix
Inverse matrix
It symbolizes the matrix whose multiplication with the original matrix is an identical matrix.
Transpose
Transpose
It refers to the matrix formed by replacing rows of the given matrix with columns and vice versa.
Hermitian matrix
Hermitian matrix
It signifies matrix with complex entries where the i-th row and j-th column is equal to complex conjugate of j-th row and i-th column.
Dimension
Dimension
It gives the number of rows and columns of the matrix, written as rows x columns.
Matrix rank
Matrix rank
It indicates the number of non-zero rows (or columns) in the reduced matrix.
Probability & Statistics Symbols
Probability function
Probability function
It signifies the likeliness of the occurrence of the event A.
Probability density function
  f(x)
Integral of function of a continuous random variable gives the probability that the value of the variable lies in the given interval.
Intersection
Intersection
It denotes the probability of occurrence of events A and B.
Union
Union
It denotes the probability of occurrence of events A or B.
Conditional probability function
Conditional probability function
It denotes the probability of occurrence of event A when event B has occurred.
Cumulative distribution function
Function of
It denotes the probability that random variable X takes a values less than or equal to x.
Expectation value
Expectation value
It denotes the expected value of random variable X.
Population mean
Population mean
It denotes the arithmetic mean of the population while considering each member of the population.
Variance
Variance
It expresses the spread of numbers of a given set.
Conditional expectation
Conditional expectation
It denotes the expected value of random variable X when the variable Y is given.
Standard Deviation
Standard Deviation
It denotes the variation from the existing average value.
Standard score
Standard score
It indicates the number of standard deviations a variable is from the mean.
Covariance
Covariance
It measures how much two random variables, X and Y, change together.
Median
Median
It denotes the middle value of random variable X.
Correlation
Correlation
It denotes the statistical relationship between two random variables, X and Y.
Mode
Mode
It signifies the most frequently occurring value in the given set.
Mid-range
Mid-range
It signifies the arithmetic mean between the maximum and minimum value of the set.
Sample median
Sample median
It denotes the average of all the values of a given set.
Lower / first quartile
Lower / first quartile
It denotes the 25th percentile of the given set data.
Median / second quartile
Median / second quartile
It denotes the median of the given set.
Upper / third quartile
Upper quartile
It denotes the 75th percentile of the given set data.
Sample mean
Sample mean
It signifies the average of the given set data, i.e., the sum of the set data divided by number of entries in the set.
Sample standard deviation
Sample standard deviation
It indicates the standard deviation of the data set in the chosen sample size.
Sample variance
Sample variance
It indicates the variance of the data set in the chosen sample size.
Bernoulli distribution
Bernoulli distribution
It denotes the theoretical distribution of number of successes in a finite data set with constant probability of successes.
Distribution of x
Distribution of x
It indicates the distribution of random variable X.
Uniform distribution
Uniform distribution
It indicates the probability that each value in the given data set has equal interval length in the given range from a to b.
Normal (Gaussian) distribution
Normal (Gaussian) distribution
It indicates the probability of an observation falling between two real numbers.
Exponential distribution
Exponential distribution
It signifies probability distribution which describes time between continuously occurring events at a constant average rate.
Gamma distribution
Gamma distribution
It denotes the continuous two-parameter distribution from which chi-square and exponential distributions are derived.
Chi-squared distribution
Chi-squared distribution
It signifies the distribution of sum of squares of k independent standard normal random variable.
F distribution
F distribution
It denotes probability distribution function, which is a ratio of two independent random variables, each of which has a chi-square distribution and is divided by number of degrees of freedom (k).
Binomial distribution
Binomial distribution
It denotes the discrete probability distribution of the number of successes in n number of experiments, where each success is yielded by probability p.
Geometric distribution
Geometric distribution
It signifies the negative binomial distribution which is used to find out the number of failures before single success.
Hyper Geometric Distribution
Hyper Geometric Distribution
It is used to calculate random selection of a variable without repetition.
Combinatorics
Combination
Combination
It indicates the possible arrangement of things without any particular order.
Permutation
Permutation
It signifies the possible arrangement of things in a particular order.
Set Theory
Intersection
Intersection
It indicates objects that belong to both sets, A and B.
Set
Set
It signifies the collection of distant elements.
Union
Union
It refers to objects that belong to either set A or set B.
Subset
Subset
It signifies few elements in the subset A are similar to the elements in set.
Not Subset
Not Subset
It signifies that A is not a subset of the set B.
Proper subset
Proper subset
It indicates that subset A has fewer elements than the set B.
Superset
Superset
It symbolizes that set A has more or equal elements than set B.
Proper Superset
Proper Superset
It indicates that set A has more elements than set B.
Complement
Complement
It represents objects that do not belong to set A.
Equality
Equality
It signifies that sets A and B have same elements.
Symmetric difference
Symmetric difference
It indicates objects that belong to both sets A and B but not to their intersection.
Relative complement
Relative complement
It refers to objects that belong to set A but not to set B.
Element of
Element of
It symbolizes that a is an element of set A.
Not element of
Not element of
It indicates that x is not an element of set A.
Cartesian product
Cartesian product
It gives the product of two sets.
Ordered pair
Ordered pair
It represents collection of elements of a set in a particular order.
Aleph-null
Aleph-null
It indicates infinite cardinality (number of elements of a set) of natural numbers set.
Aleph-one
Aleph-one
It signifies cardinality (number of elements of a set) of countable ordinal (well ordered) numbers set.
Universal set
Universal set
It represents set having all possible values.
Empty set
Empty set
It refers to set having no elements.
Integer numbers set
Integer numbers set
It indicates set of integer numbers.
Natural/whole numbers set
Natural/whole numbers set
It refers to set of whole/natural numbers with zero.
Complex numbers set
Complex numbers set
It represents set of complex numbers.
Real numbers set
Real numbers set
It refers to set of real numbers.
Cardinality
Cardinality
It signifies the number of elements in set A.
Logic Symbols
And
Caret
It signifies logical conjunction where two true operands can only produce a true value.
Or
Or
It signifies logical disjunction where two false operands produce a false value.
Exclusive or (XOR)
Exclusive or (XOR)
It denotes exclusive disjunction where either of the operands should be true to return a true value.
Not - negation
Not - negation
It indicates negation of the given value.
Equivalent
Equivalent
It denotes material equivalence where true value is returned only when both operands are true or false.
Implies
Implies
It indicates material implication where true value is returned only if either of the operand is true or false.
There does not exists
There does not exists
It indicates existential quantification where function of the operand is true only for one value of operand.
There exists
There exists
It indicates existential quantification where function of the operand is true only for one value of operand.
Because/since
Because/since
It is placed before a logical sequence indicating assumption or reason.
Therefore
Therefore
It is placed before a logical sequence indicating conclusion of the required operation.
For all
For all
It signifies universal quantification where function of the operand is true for all values of the operand.
Calculus Symbols
Epsilon
Epsilon
It represents a very small number nearing zero.
Limit
Limit
It denotes the value that function approaches when input approaches specified value.
Derivative
Derivative
It indicates change in the function when the input values change.
Second derivative
Second derivative
It returns a value which is the derivative of the derivative of the given function.
Time derivative
Time derivative
It indicates change in the function with respect to change in time.
Nth Derivative
Nth Derivative
It returns a value which is calculated by deriving the given function for n times.
Integral
Integral
It refers to antiderivative, and is the signed area of a region which is bounded by graph (definite integral).
Partial Derivative
Partial Derivative
It denotes the value that is obtained by calculating derivative with respect to one variable, while other variables are constant.
Triple integral
Triple integral
It denotes the integration of a function of three variables.
Double integral
Double integral
It denotes the integration of a function of two variables.
Imaginary unit
Imaginary unit
It indicates the square root of -1.
Closed contour / line integral
Closed contour / line integral
It denotes the integral of a function evaluated along a curve, i.e., with respect to arc length.
Complex conjugate
Complex conjugate
It indicates the pair of complex numbers with same real part and imaginary part with equal magnitude but opposite signs.
Nabla / del
Nabla / del
It denotes the gradient and vector derivatives.
Unit vector
Unit vector
It signifies a vector with magnitude 1.
Vector
Vector
It indicates quantity with magnitude and direction.
Convolution
Convolution
It defines the integral of product of two functions when one function is reversed and shifted.
Delta function
Delta function
It is defined as the limit of a class of delta sequences.
Fourier transform
Fourier transform
It signifies the transformation of signals into time and frequency domains, i.e., breaks them into sines and cosines.
Laplace transform
Laplace transform
It indicates the linear operator of function f which transforms f(t) to F(s), with s being the complex argument.
Greek Symbols
Alpha
Alpha
Beta
Beta
Gamma
Gamma
Zeta
Zeta
Theta
Theta
Eta
Eta
Iota
Iota
Kappa
Kappa
Lambda
Lambda
Mu
Mu
Nu
Nu
Xi
Xi
Omicron
Omicron
Pi
Pi
Rho
Rho
Sigma
Sigma
Tau
Tau
Upsilon
Upsilon Upsilon
Chi
Chi
Phi
Phi
Omega
Omega
Psi
Psi