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See also: PX, Px, px, RX, Rx, rx, , , and Appendix:Variations of "r"

U+211E, ℞

Letterlike Symbols

U+211F, ℟

Letterlike Symbols


The prescription symbol, ℞, as printed on the blister pack of a prescription drug

Alternative forms[edit]


An R with a cross-stroke indicating an abbreviation (of recipe, response, retrograde etc). In the case of a prescription, abbreviating Latin recipe (take this, second-person singular imperative of recipiō); it is sometimes typeset as, or even interpreted as, a digraph Rx. Compare also Dx (diagnose, diagnosis) and Hx (history).


  1. (medicine, pharmacy) Prescription (Canada, US).
  2. (medicine, pharmacy) Take (used to begin a list of ingredients of a compound).
    • 1624, Philip Barrough [i.e., Philip Barrow], “Of Making Bolus”, in The Method of Physick, Contaning[sic] the Cavses, Signes, and Cvres of Inward Diseases in Mans Body, from the Head to the Foote. Whereunto is Added, The Forme and Rule of Making Remedies and Medicines, which Our Physitions Commonly Vse at this Day, with the Proportion, Quantity, and Names of Each Medicine, 6th edition, book VII, London: Imprinted by Richard Field, dwelling in great Woodstreete, →OCLC, page 397:
      Bolvs in Engliſh is called a morſell. It is a medicine laxatiue, in forme and faſhion it is meanely whole, and it is ſwallowed by little gobbets. [] Medulla Caſſiæ fiſtulæ [n]ewly drawne, . j. or ʒ. x. the graines, that is, the kernels, of Barberies, . ß and with Sugar roſet [sugar compounded with rose petals], make a bole.
  3. (liturgy) Marks the congregation's response to the versicle.
    Synonym: R
  4. (astrology) Retrograde.

Usage notes[edit]

The Medieval Unicode Font Initiative recommends that medieval scholars use U+211E for all meanings, medicinal and liturgical.

Coordinate terms[edit]


See also[edit]

abbreviation of words starting with R


A silver penny of King Offa of Mercia, abbreviating rex as ℞


  1. (chiefly Medieval Latin) Abbreviation of rex, king.
  2. (chiefly New Latin, pharmacy) Abbreviation of recipe, take (as an imperative).