The Mathematical Symbol "Dot Minus (∸)"

The "Dot Minus" Symbol (∸): A Deep Dive into its Significance

In mathematics, a plethora of symbols exist, each with its unique meaning and purpose. Among these myriad symbols, the "Dot Minus" notation, represented as ∸, stands out. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the ∸ symbol and its diverse applications in various branches of mathematics, enriched with examples.

Grasping the Concept of ∸

The ∸ symbol is not a standard symbol in elementary mathematics. Its meaning and applications can vary based on the context in which it's used. In some contexts, it can represent an element-wise subtraction in matrix or vector operations. In others, it may have domain-specific interpretations.

Example 1:

Consider two matrices \( A \) and \( B \) of the same dimension. The element-wise subtraction of matrix \( B \) from matrix \( A \) can be represented as:

\( A ∸ B \)

This implies that each element in the resulting matrix is obtained by subtracting the corresponding element of \( B \) from \( A \).

Example 2:

For two vectors \( v \) and \( w \) with the same dimensions, the element-wise subtraction can be symbolized as:

\( v ∸ w \)

Here, every component of the resulting vector is the difference between the corresponding components of \( v \) and \( w \).

While the ∸ symbol is not universally standard, its meaning becomes clear within a given context. Always refer to accompanying definitions or domain-specific conventions to ensure accurate interpretation. This symbol exemplifies the depth and breadth of mathematical notation, reiterating the importance of precision in the field.

Mathematical symbol 'Dot Minus'

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Codes for the ∸ Symbol

The Symbol
Alt CodeAlt 8760
HTML Code∸
HTML Entity∸
CSS Code\2238
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 8760. 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: &#8760;</b>My symbol: ∸

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

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &minusd;</b>My symbol: ∸

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

CSS and HTML TextOutput
span:after {
content: "\2238";}
<span>My symbol:</span>
My symbol: ∸

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

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#x2238;</b>My symbol: ∸
On the assumption that you already have your canvas and the context set up, use the Hex code in the format 0x2238 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+2238. 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 2238 turns into ∸. Note that you can omit any leading zeros.)
In JavaScript, the syntax is \uXXXX. So, our example would be \u2238. (Note that the format is 4 hexadecimal characters.)
JavaScript TextOutput
let str = "\u2238"
document.write("My symbol: " + str)
My symbol: ∸