The Mathematical Symbol "Minus Tilde (≂)"

The ≂ Symbol in Mathematics: Minus Tilde

The mathematical landscape is populated with a diverse array of symbols, each designed to communicate specific ideas or relations. Among this vast repertoire, the ≂ symbol, often termed as "Minus Tilde" or "Equal To or Minus", finds its niche. This article seeks to unravel its use and implications, complemented by illustrative examples.


The ≂ symbol is typically used to indicate an approximation or an equality that holds up to a sign. It emphasizes that two quantities are nearly equivalent, but there might be a difference in their sign or a slight deviation from an exact equality.


  • Example 1: Suppose we're approximating a value and state:
    \( x ≂ y \)
    This can be read as "x is approximately equal to y, up to a potential difference in sign or a minor discrepancy."
  • Example 2: In some contexts, when we want to stress that two expressions have the same magnitude but may differ in sign, we could express:
    \( a ≂ -b \)
    This conveys that the value of \( a \) is nearly the same as \( b \), but with an opposite sign or with a slight difference.

In summary, the ≂ symbol provides a nuanced way of expressing approximate equalities or equivalences in mathematical notations. It conveys the idea of two quantities being similar in magnitude but possibly differing in other minor aspects, such as sign.

Mathematical symbol 'Minus Tilde'

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Codes for the ≂ Symbol

The Symbol
Alt CodeAlt 8770
HTML Code≂
HTML Entity≂
CSS Code\2242
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 8770. 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: &#8770;</b>My symbol: ≂

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

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &esim;</b>My symbol: ≂

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

CSS and HTML TextOutput
span:after {
content: "\2242";}
<span>My symbol:</span>
My symbol: ≂

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

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#x2242;</b>My symbol: ≂
On the assumption that you already have your canvas and the context set up, use the Hex code in the format 0x2242 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+2242. 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 2242 turns into ≂. Note that you can omit any leading zeros.)
In JavaScript, the syntax is \uXXXX. So, our example would be \u2242. (Note that the format is 4 hexadecimal characters.)
JavaScript TextOutput
let str = "\u2242"
document.write("My symbol: " + str)
My symbol: ≂