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"-" redirects here. For other uses, see - (disambiguation).
apostrophe   '
brackets [ ]  ( )  { }  ⟨ ⟩
colon :
comma ,  ،  
dash ‒  –  —  ―
ellipsis   ...  . . .
exclamation mark  !
full stop, period .
hyphen-minus -
question mark  ?
quotation marks ‘ ’  “ ”  ' '  " "
semicolon ;
slash, stroke, solidus /  
Word dividers
interpunct ·
General typography
ampersand &
asterisk *
at sign @
backslash \
caret ^
dagger † ‡
degree °
ditto mark
inverted exclamation mark ¡
inverted question mark ¿
number sign, pound, hash, octothorpe #
numero sign
obelus ÷
multiplication sign ×
ordinal indicator º ª
percent, per mil  % ‰
plus and minus + −
equals sign =
basis point
section sign §
tilde ~
underscore, understrike _
vertical bar, pipe, broken bar |    ¦
Intellectual property
copyright ©
sound-recording copyright
registered trademark ®
service mark
generic currency symbol ¤

฿¢$ƒ£ ¥

Uncommon typography
index, fist
irony punctuation
reference mark
In other scripts

The hyphen-minus (-) is a character used in digital documents and computing to represent a hyphen (‐) or a minus sign (−).[1] It is present in Unicode as code point U+002D - HYPHEN-MINUS; it is also in ASCII with the same value.

The use of one character for hyphen and minus, and sometimes also for en dash, was a compromise made in the early days of fixed-width typewriters and computer displays. However, in proper typesetting and graphic design, there are distinct characters for hyphens, dashes, and the minus sign. Usage of the hyphen-minus nonetheless persists in many contexts, as it is well-known, easy to enter on keyboards, and in the same location in all common character sets.

Most programming languages, restricting themselves to ASCII, use the hyphen-minus, rather than the Unicode character U+2212 MINUS SIGN, for denoting subtraction and negative numbers.

The en-dash is historically a dash of the same width as a lowercase letter "n". The en-dash indicates ranges, such as 2000–2004, and compound adjectives, as in "Italian–American relations" (having to do with the relationship between Italy and America), as opposed to "Italian-American relations" (indicating relatives who are Americans of Italian descent). Hyphen-minuses are often used instead of en-dashes in these cases, but this practice generally stems from ignorance of the en-dash and is not preferred.

Historically, an em dash is the width of a lowercase letter "m", and may be represented by three hyphen-minus signs in succession (as later in TeX markup), or sometimes two.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jukka K. Korpela (2006). Unicode explained. O'Reilly. p. 382. ISBN 978-0-596-10121-3.