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# What is the name of the ÷ symbol?

# OBELUS

An obelus ( ÷ ) is a symbol consisting of a short horizontal line with a dot above and another dot below. In mathematics it is mainly used to represent the mathematical operation of division. It is therefore commonly called the division sign. The word "obelus" comes the Ancient Greek word for a sharpened stick, or pointed pillar. The obelus was first used as a symbol for division in 1659 in the algebra book Teutsche Algebra by Johann Rahn. It is believed that John Pell, who edited the book, is responsible for this use of the symbol.

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