The Mathematical Symbol "Colon Equals (≔)"

The ≔ Symbol in Mathematics: Colon Equals

Mathematics employs an array of symbols to convey specific meanings or operations. One such symbol is the ≔, referred to as "Colon Equals". In this article, we will explore its usage and offer examples to illustrate its significance.


The ≔ symbol is often used to represent a definition or an assignment. It conveys the idea of "is defined as" or "is assigned the value". This symbol helps to differentiate between statements of equality (using the equals sign) and statements of definition.


  • Example 1: Defining a function:
    \( f(x) ≔ x^2 + 3x + 2 \)
    Here, \( f(x) \) is defined as \( x^2 + 3x + 2 \).
  • Example 2: Assigning a value to a variable:
    \( a ≔ 5 \)
    This signifies that the variable \( a \) is assigned the value of 5.

In summary, the ≔ symbol, while simple in appearance, plays a crucial role in denoting definitions and assignments in mathematical contexts. Familiarity with this symbol aids in accurately interpreting and conveying mathematical expressions and statements.

Mathematical symbol 'Colon Equals'

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Codes for the ≔ Symbol

The Symbol
Alt CodeAlt 8788
HTML Code≔
HTML Entity≔
CSS Code\2254
Hex Code≔

How To Insert the ≔ Symbol

(Method 1) Copy and paste the symbol.

The easiest way to get the ≔ symbol is to copy and paste it into your document.

Bear in mind that this is a UTF-8 encoded character. It must be encoded as UTF-8 at all stages (copying, replacing, editing, pasting), otherwise it will render as random characters or the dreaded �.

(Method 2) Use the "Alt Code."

If you have a keyboard with a numeric pad, you can use this method. Simply hold down the Alt key and type 8788. When you lift the Alt key, the symbol appears. ("Num Lock" must be on.)

(Method 3) Use the HTML Decimal Code (for webpages).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#8788;</b>My symbol: ≔

(Method 4) Use the HTML Entity Code (for webpages).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &colone;</b>My symbol: ≔

(Method 5) Use the CSS Code (for webpages).

CSS and HTML TextOutput
span:after {
content: "\2254";}
<span>My symbol:</span>
My symbol: ≔

(Method 6) Use the HTML Hex Code (for webpages and HTML canvas).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#x2254;</b>My symbol: ≔
On the assumption that you already have your canvas and the context set up, use the Hex code in the format 0x2254 to place the ≔ symbol on your canvas. For example:
JavaScript Text
const x = "0x"+"E9"
ctx.fillText(String.fromCodePoint(x), 5, 5);

(Method 7) Use the Unicode (for various, e.g. Microsoft Office, JavaScript, Perl).

The Unicode for ≔ is U+2254. The important part is the hexadecimal number after the U+, which is used in various formats. For example, in Microsoft Office applications (e.g. Word, PowerPoint), do the following:
[Hold down Alt]
[Press x]

(The 2254 turns into ≔. Note that you can omit any leading zeros.)
In JavaScript, the syntax is \uXXXX. So, our example would be \u2254. (Note that the format is 4 hexadecimal characters.)
JavaScript TextOutput
let str = "\u2254"
document.write("My symbol: " + str)
My symbol: ≔