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Unicode name SEMICOLON
Unicode block Basic Latin
Codepoint U+003B
[[:| : ← ]] Basic Latin [[<|→ < ]]
Character ;
Unicode block Greek and Coptic
Codepoint U+037E
ͽ ← Greek and Coptic → ΄


The Italian printer Aldus Manutius established the practice of using the semicolon mark to separate words of opposed meaning, and to indicate interdependent statements. The earliest, general use of the semicolon in English was in 1591.

Punctuation mark[edit]


  1. Indicates a pause longer than the comma and shorter than a period/full stop.
  2. Separates items in a list where the list items themselves include commas.
    Guests at the summit included David Cameron, the British Prime Minister; Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor; and François Hollande, the French President.
  3. Represents two eyes vertically aligned, the lower one winking, in order to form emoticons.
  4. (programming) Marks the end of a statement in some programming languages.
    <?php echo '<p>Hello World</p>'; ?>

Usage notes[edit]

  • Called semicolon in English.
  • In Greek this symbol is a question mark, and the role of semicolon is fulfilled by · (U+0387), the άνω τελεία ‎(áno teleía, upper stop).


Derived terms[edit]

  • (small form variant)

See also[edit]



Punctuation mark[edit]

; or ;

  1. ? (the Greek question mark)
    Με συγχωρείτε· πού είναι οι τουαλέτες;
    Me synchoreíte; poú eínai oi toualétes?
    Excuse me; where are the toilets?

Usage notes[edit]

  • While there is a specific character for solely the Greek question mark (; – U+037E), the regular semicolon (U+003B) is preferred.
  • In Greek a semicolon is represented by · (U+0387), named the άνω τελεία ‎(áno teleía, upper stop).