Symbol Meaning

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.



Meaning and application


Arrow symbols

Used for indicating directions such as up, down, right, left, north, south, etc.,

Tech symbols:

Wifi, bluetooth, battery, disk, etc

Tech symbols

To denote the status of options in electronic devices such as mobiles and laptops

Cloud, rain, snow and sun

Weather symbols

To represent weather conditions for easy understanding

Traffic symbols

Traffic Symbols

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

Statistics symbols

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 Name

Meaning or Definition


not equal sign


12 ≠ 15


equals sign


6 = 4 + 2


strict inequality

less than

4 < 6


strict inequality

greater than

13 > 11


less than or equal to

x ≤ y, means, y = x or y > x, but not vice-versa.


greater than or equal to

a ≥ b, means, a = b or a > b, but vice-versa does not hold true.

[ ]


calculate expression inside first

[ 3 × 2] + 11 = 17

( )


calculate expression inside first

4 × (3 + 7) = 40

minus sign


25 − 20 = 5


plus sign


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


4 × 3 = 12




5 * 2 = 10


division sign / obelus


18 ÷ 6 = 3

multiplication dot


3 ∙ 3 = 9

horizontal line

division / fraction



division slash


6 ⁄ 2 = 3



remainder calculation

7 mod 3 = 1




24 = 16



decimal point, decimal separator

4.36 = 4 +36/100


square root

√a · √a = a

√4 = ±2




2 ^ 4 = 16


fourth root

4√a ·4√a · 4√a · 4√a = a

4√16= ± 2


cube root

3√a ·3√a · 3√a = a

3√27 = 3



1% = 1/100

10% × 40 = 4

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