Equal Sign

The equal sign or equal sign, formerly known as the equality sign, is the mathematical symbol =, indicating equality in some well-defined function. For example, in an equation, it is located between two expressions with the same value, or for which one analyses the conditions under which they have the same value.

Equal to Sign

The symbol “=” name is “the equal sign,” or “equals,” and it is essential to understand how to verbalize or say the accurate statements for a symbol such as this. First, however, the question is, “What does the equal to sign mean?” For this question, we must add the hint, “we cannot use the name of the symbol to explain what the symbol means.” The equal sign means either “is” or “is the same value as”. So, that is all the equal to sign means – nothing more, and actually, nothing less.

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Equal Sign in Math

Whenever we try to show equality between two expressions in maths, we tend to “equate” the two items. Hence, the equal sign is the sign that helps us mathematically show equality between two representatives. Thus, the equal sign in mathematics describes equality between the values, equations, or expressions written on both sides.

The symbol for equal to is two small parallel horizontal lines.

Equal sign

The symbol “=” shows that whatever is on the left of the sign is exactly the same amount or value as whatever is on the right of the sign.

In mathematics, the equal sign is used in several situations, such as defining a simple statement of fact in a specific case, creating definitions, conditional words, or expressing a universal equivalence. An important note about equal sign is that an equation cannot be expressed without an equal sign.


2 + 5 = 7

(x + 2)2 = x2 + 4 + 4x

8 – 3 = 5

The below table shows the symbols and meanings of some mathematical symbols related to equality.

Symbol Name



Equal to


Exactly the same


Identical to

Not equal to

Not exactly the same


Almost the same


Exactly the same appearance (shapes)



Same shapes, not exactly the same

Less than equal to

Less than OR equal to

Greater than equal to

Greater than OR equal to

Who invented Equal Sign?

Robert Recorde was a Welsh physician and mathematician. He invented the equals sign (=) and also introduced the pre-existing plus sign (+) to English speakers in 1557.

Equal Sign with 3 Lines

The equal sign with two lines means something is equal to something. Example: a = 3, b = 9

The equal sign with three lines means that something is identical or similar to something but not necessarily equal. Thus, a triple equals sign means equivalent. The equivalent is not the same as ‘equals’. The double bar is more common and generally implies equality. In some contexts, the triple bar or equal sign with three lines means congruent or, more generally, an arbitrary equivalence relation.


Let’s have a look at the below examples to understand the different situations where we use equal signs.

  • The perimeter of a square is equal to four times its side length, i.e. P = 4 x side.
  • Distributive Property of Multiplication over Addition: 4 x (2 + 6) = 4 x 2 + 4 x 6; this means multiplication 4 with the sum of 2 and 6 is the same as first multiplying 4 times 2 and 4 times 6 and then adding those results.
  • Equations in one variable: 4x + 26 = 6x + 10
  • Equations in two variables: 10x + 4y = 13; 7x – 3y = 20
  • Geometry formulas: c2 = a2 + b2 [the square of the hypotenuse c of a right triangle is equal to the sum of squares of sides a and b].

To get more information about symbols and their meanings and uses, visit www.byjus.com and also get illustrative examples on each of these topics.

Frequently Asked Questions on Equal Sign

What is the equal sign in math?

In mathematics, the equal sign (=) describes equality between the values, equations, or expressions written on both sides.
For example: 17 – 11 = 6

What does ≡ mean in math?

Equal sign with three lines, i.e. ≡ means identical to. This is similar to, but not exactly the same as, equals, i.e. =.

How do you write the unequal sign?

We can write the sign for not equal to or unequal by striking the equal sign with a slash. Thus, the symbol for not equal to or does not equal sign is “≠”.

How do you write an approximate sign?

The approximate sign to show the approximation between two things can be written as “≈”. In maths, we write approximate answers for numerical instead of expressing the solutions with more decimal points. For example, 156.99471112 can be written as 156.99471112 ≈ 156.995.

How do you write bigger than symbols?

We can use greater than and less than symbols to compare numbers and expressions. The sign for greater than is > and for less than is <. for="" example=""> 9 and is read as 12 is greater than 9, whereas 5

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