Symbols are often used for representing various things in various situations. Using symbols, we can easily define certain relations and their properties in maths. However, the usage of symbols is not limited to maths but also has applications in many other fields. Symbols are the source of all individual understanding and assist as channels of interpretation for all personal knowledge. The meaning of a symbol can be stated in different ways but all of which is meant for the same objective. Some of them are:
Definition 1:
A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates (implies) or is understood as representing an object, idea, or relationship.
Definition 2:
A symbol is a sign, shape, or object that is used to represent something else.
Definition 3:
A symbol is a letter, figure, or other character or mark or a combination of letters or the like used to designate something.
Definition 4:
A symbol could be something that is used for or regarded as representing something else; a material object representing something, often something immaterial; emblem, token, or sign.
Also, in the book named “Sign and Symbols”, the symbol is defined as “a visual image or sign representing an idea, a deeper indicator of universal truth”.
Thus, there might be a lot of definitions for the symbol; the main purpose of using symbols is to represent things and relations between them.
Common Symbols and Meanings
We can observe some common symbols in our daily life and all these symbols indicate some of the other facts and properties of certain things or objects. Some of the most common symbols in our daily existence are given below, along with their meanings.
Name 
Symbols 
Meaning and application 
Arrows 

Used for indicating directions such as up, down, right, left, north, south, etc., 
Tech symbols: Wifi, bluetooth, battery, disk, etc 

To denote the status of options in electronic devices such as mobiles and laptops 
Cloud, rain, snow and sun 

To represent weather conditions for easy understanding 
Traffic symbols 

Used to communicate various actions such as stop, proceed, slow, turns and so on. 
Statistics symbols 

To indicate the growth, decay or other interpretations 
Apart from these symbols, we can also see communication symbols, alert (or attention) symbols, business related symbols, ideas, insights, informative symbols, creativity symbols, symbols related to status and planning of a task (for example to do list, checklist and so on), safety and security symbols, target or goals symbols, etc.,
Symbol Meaning in Maths
Symbols are essential tools of maths as many things are represented using symbols. Even the basic arithmetic operations also include symbols such as plus (+), minus (), multiplication (*) and so on. It is not possible to do anything in maths without symbols. There are a lot of symbols that we use while dealing with mathematics at each and every grade.
Click here for the list of math symbols
As we know, symbols are very important in maths and make maths interesting and easy. Some of the most commonly used symbols in maths are listed below.
Symbol 
Symbol Name 
Meaning or Definition 
Example 
≠ 
not equal sign 
inequality 
12 ≠ 15 
= 
equals sign 
equality 
6 = 4 + 2 
< 
strict inequality 
less than 
4 < 6 
> 
strict inequality 
greater than 
13 > 11 
≤ 
inequality 
less than or equal to 
x ≤ y, means, y = x or y > x, but not viceversa. 
≥ 
inequality 
greater than or equal to 
a ≥ b, means, a = b or a > b, but viceversa does not hold true. 
[ ] 
brackets 
calculate expression inside first 
[ 3 × 2] + 11 = 17 
( ) 
parentheses 
calculate expression inside first 
4 × (3 + 7) = 40 
− 
minus sign 
subtraction 
25 − 20 = 5 
+ 
plus sign 
addition 
2 + 7 = 9 
∓ 
minus – plus 
both minus and plus operations 
1 ∓ 5 = 4 and 6 
± 
plus – minus 
both plus and minus operations 
6 ± 4 = 10 and 2 
× 
times sign 
multiplication 
4 × 3 = 12 
* 
asterisk 
multiplication 
5 * 2 = 10 
÷ 
division sign / obelus 
division 
18 ÷ 6 = 3 
∙ 
multiplication dot 
multiplication 
3 ∙ 3 = 9 
– 
horizontal line 
division / fraction 
\(\frac{12}{2}=6\) 
/ 
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 
√4 = ±2 
a^b 
caret 
exponent 
2 ^ 4 = 16 
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√27 = 3 
% 
percent 
1% = 1/100 
10% × 40 = 4 