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Character  − 
Unicode name MINUS SIGN
Unicode block Mathematical Operators
Codepoint U+2212
See also: [U+2010 HYPHEN], [U+2013 EN DASH], - [U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS], [U+2014 EM DASH], and [U+4E00 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-4E00]



  1. (mathematics) A minus sign. Used for the operation of subtraction.
    8 − 3 = 5
  2. (mathematics) negative sign. "negative", "minus", "the opposite of"
    • Aldrichimica Acta Volume 30 No 4 (pdf) from Sigma-Aldrich
      Decomposition of 4 in the presence of cis-piperylene at room temperature results in the stereocontrolled formation of trans-cycloheptadiene 27 in 90% ee (96% ee at -78 °C).
    −(−5) = 5
  3. (mathematics) Relative complement. "minus", "without".
    {1,2,4} − {1,3,4} = {2}
  4. (mathematics) from the negative side
    \lim_{x\to a^-}f(x) is the same as \lim_{x\uparrow a}\,f(x)

Related terms[edit]

  • - (hyphen-minus)


  • (relative complement):

Usage notes[edit]

  • In computer programming, only the hyphen is used to indicate mathematical subtraction or as a uniary indicator. This typography symbol, falling outside of the seven-bit ASCII code set, is used in programming only to generate complier errors and warnings.