Math symbols have been around for as long as humans have been able to draw. They help us to write down mathematical formulas and equations, represent results, and also prove our points. In this article, we will give you a quick overview of the most important math symbols and their meaning.

You may not realize it, but math symbols are very important to read and write. In fact, you should use them at least once a day. The following list will teach you about the symbols that are commonly used in mathematics, their properties, and how they look like.

Math Symbols from the Greek Language that are Known widely

ψ – Psi

ω – Omega

υ – Upsilon

φ – Phi

π – Pi

σ – Sigma

λ – Lambda

μ – Mu

α – Alpha

β – Beta

γ – Gamma

δ – Delta

ε – Epsilon

θ – Theta

Unknown widely

τ – Tau

χ – Chi

ρ – Rho

ν – Nu

ξ – Xi

ο – Omicron

ι – Iota

κ – Kappa

ζ- Zeta

η – Eta

The minus sign {–}

The addition sign {+}

The multiplication sign {x}

The division sign {÷}

The equal sign {=}

The less sign {<}

The more sign {>}

The less or equal sign {≤}

The infinity sign: {∞}

The square root sign: {√}

The derivative sign {‘}(X’, Y’,S’)

The integral sign {∫}

Limit: lim f(x) = The limit value of the function of x when x is ranged between x and xn

x—xn

≈ approximately equal

(⋅) multiplication dot multiplication

e = e constant / Euler’s number= 2.718281828…

≠ Not equal sign

[ ]- brackets: calculate expression inside first

* – asterisk – multiplication

(.) period decimal point, decimal separator

a^b caret exponent

% percent: eg. 5% error rate is acceptable

‰ per-mille: eg. 10‰ is the highest population growth rate ever recorded!

ppm: per-million

ppb: per-billion

ppt: per-trillion

Δ – triangle

≈ – approximately equal

π – pi constant

rad – radians

≪ – much less than

≫ – much greater than

≡ equivalence – identical to

| x | vertical bars – absolute value

x! exclamation mark – factorial

N: Natural = Positive Numbers 1….+∞

Z: Zahl = -∞ …-1, 0, +1, ……. +∞

Q: = Quoziente = Rational = -∞…… 0.25, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3,……..+∞

R: Real = -∞…… + 0.5 + e + π …….+∞

C = Complex = 8+2i

C = Real number + Real Number * i

i = Square root of (-1)

The minus sign {–} and it is called Minus/take. It is used to indicate that the second number is going to be reducing the first one by its numeric value. In other words, to subtract means to take away from a group or a number of things.

The addition sign {+} and it is called Plus / add. It is used to indicate that two numbers are going to be combined together. Those two numbers may not be of the same nature

The multiplication sign {x} and it is called Multiple/times. It is used to double or triple or increase the resulting value of a number by the number of times specified by the number after the {X} sign.

The division sign {÷} and is called divide. It is the exact opposite of the multiplication process. It decreases the result value of a number by dividing it into equal shares according to a specific number. The result may be an integer, a rational, or an irrational number.

The equal sign {=} and it is pronounced Equals. It is the secure basis of all mathematical equations and operations. Without the equal sign, there can be no finalized solution or even a single correct simple equation.

The less sign {<} is pronounced as Less than. It indicates that the number before it is lower than the number after it. Simple Ain’t it!

The more sign {>} is used as More than. As its name suggests, it confirms that the number preceding the sign is higher than the one that follows it.

The less or equal sign {≤} is pronounced like the following phrase “Less than or equal”. It refers to the fact that the two sides of this sign may be equal or the one before it is less valuable. It is used in cases where variables exist and the result could change. Thus in one case that the variable assumes a value the first number is less than the following, whereas when it, the variable, assumes another value which might as well be even lower than the first one, but in the overall result, the variable end value remains equal. All of this depends on the equation status.

The infinity sign: {∞} simply it is just called Infinity. It refers to an uncertain number that could be positive or negative and it is not specified at all.

The square root sign: {√} and it is pronounced as Square root. It is when you find the number that if you multiply it by itself it’ll result in the same number that is being square rooted.

The derivative sign {y ‘} is like that if the variable is to be y. In simple words, the derivative of a function of a real variable measures the sensitivity to change of the function value (output value) with respect to a change in its argument (input value). In even simpler words, it measures deviation in a function of any sort with respect to its value.

The integral sign {∫} just like that is called Integral. It is simply the reverse of a derivative.

Other important symbols that you must know and teach your kids:

N: Natural numbers = 1,2,3…..

Prime Numbers = 2,3,5,7,9,11,……..

Composite Number: A positive number formed by the multiplication of two smaller positive integers= 4,6,8,9,10……….

W: Whole numbers: Natural numbers Plus the number 0.

C: Complex numbers: A number which can be written in the form a + bi where a and b are real numbers and i is the square root of -1, …,−5+2i —- 0,8+3i,…

Rational numbers: Q=−12,0.33333: any number representable by a fraction

Irrational Numbers: Numbers that cannot be represented by a fraction F=…,π,√2,0.121221222…

Real Numbers : R=…,−3,−1,0,15,1.1,2–√,2,3,π,…