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back +‎ slash, because it is a slash going back against the direction of writing, in contrast to the common slash / ‎(slash, solidus, oblique, forward slash).



backslash ‎(plural backslashes)

  1. The punctuation mark \.
  2. (computing, rare, proscribed) Used erroneously in reference to, or in reading out, the ordinary slash, that is, the punctuation mark /.
    • 2001, James T. Bretzke, Bibliography on East Asian Religion and Philosophy, Edwin Mellen Press, ISBN 0-7734-7318-1, page 455:
      [] I was trying to find a web-site for which I had been given the following address: [] I began to work backwards, removing first the last part of the address following the last backslash (/korjournal.htm).
    • 2010, Lee Vance, The Garden of Betrayal, Random House (2011), ISBN 978-0-307-39035-6, page 25:
      “So, do what I tell you. Open a browser window and type this in the menu[sic] bar: F-T-P colon backslash backslash euronews dot net backslash...”
      I pecked carefully at the keyboard as he dictated a URL that was about fifty characters long, []
    • 2010, Frank Barnas and Ted White, Broadcast News Writing, Reporting, and Producing, Fifth Edition, Elsevier, ISBN 0080953972, page 114:
      Also, avoid submenus[sic] that can confuse the audience—if you're giving lengthy Web site addresses full of backslashes, shorten it so only the Web site's home page is given.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Sometimes used to indicate the beginning and ending of an area of words being marked for correction.


Coordinate terms[edit]



backslash ‎(third-person singular simple present backslashes, present participle backslashing, simple past and past participle backslashed)

  1. (computing, transitive) To escape (a metacharacter) by prepending a backslash that serves as an escape character, thereby forming an escape sequence.

See also[edit]




From English backslash.



backslash m ‎(plural backslashes or backslashen, diminutive backslashje n)

  1. backslash