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Binary and relational operators

Some "math" symbols are obtained by typing the corresponding keyboard character. Examples include

    + - = < >

Note: plus, minus, and equal sign may be used in either text or math mode, but < and > are math mode only (they produce inverted exclamation and question marks, respectively, in text mode).

The following commands may be used only in math mode.

  • \pm - plus or minus sign
  • \mp - minus or plus sign
  • \times - times (an "x")
  • \div - divided by sign
  • \ast - an asterisk (centered)
  • \star - a five-point star (centered)
  • \bullet - a bullet
  • \circ - an open bullet
  • \cdot - a centered dot (see also, \cdots)
  • \leq - less than or equal to
  • \ll - much less than
  • \subset - is a subset of
  • \geq - greater than or equal to
  • \gg - much greater than
  • \equiv - equivalence symbol
  • \sim - similar to
  • \simeq - similar or equal to
  • \approx - approximately equal to
  • \neq - not equal to
  • \per - "perpendicular to" symbols
  • \propto - proportional to

Note that "greater than" and "less than" are obtained simply by entering > and <.

A slash, indicating "not" can be placed through a symbol (or a letter) with the \not command. For example, not less than is


and not less than or equal to is


If the slash isn't properly positioned it can be moved by putting a math mode spacing command between the \not and the symbol.

Related topics:

See also Math Formulas, Math Symbols
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Revised 7Jul 1995.