The Mathematical Symbol "Approximately But Not Actually Equal To (≆)"

The ≆ Symbol in Mathematics: Distinguishing Near Equalities

The ≆ symbol in mathematics represents the notion of being "Approximately But Not Actually Equal To". This symbol is particularly useful when two quantities are close to each other in value but are not precisely the same. This article explores two main applications of this symbol, with two illustrative examples for each context.

1. Real Number Comparisons

For real numbers, ≆ is employed to denote that two values are nearly equal, but there exists a slight difference between them.

  • Example 1: After certain calculations, if the number \( e \) (base of the natural logarithm) is approximated as 2.718, we can represent this as \( e ≆ 2.718 \).
  • Example 2: If an experimental measurement yields a value of 9.999 for a quantity expected to be exactly 10, it can be stated: Measurement ≆ 10.

2. Advanced Mathematical Relations

In more advanced areas of mathematics, the ≆ symbol can be employed to demonstrate the nearness of two functions, matrices, or other mathematical objects.

  • Example 1: If two functions, \( f(x) \) and \( g(x) \), behave similarly for a range of \( x \) but differ at certain points, this relationship can be denoted as \( f(x) ≆ g(x) \).
  • Example 2: In matrix analysis, if two matrices \( A \) and \( B \) are almost identical but differ by a few elements, this can be represented as \( A ≆ B \).

In summary, the ≆ symbol serves a pivotal role in mathematics, emphasizing the nuance between near equivalence and exact equality. Recognizing and understanding this symbol ensures accurate interpretation of mathematical expressions and statements.

Mathematical symbol 'Approximately But Not Actually Equal To'

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Codes for the ≆ Symbol

The Symbol
Alt CodeAlt 8774
HTML Code≆
HTML Entity≆
CSS Code\2246
Hex Code≆

How To Insert the ≆ Symbol

(Method 1) Copy and paste the symbol.

The easiest way to get the ≆ symbol is to copy and paste it into your document.

Bear in mind that this is a UTF-8 encoded character. It must be encoded as UTF-8 at all stages (copying, replacing, editing, pasting), otherwise it will render as random characters or the dreaded �.

(Method 2) Use the "Alt Code."

If you have a keyboard with a numeric pad, you can use this method. Simply hold down the Alt key and type 8774. When you lift the Alt key, the symbol appears. ("Num Lock" must be on.)

(Method 3) Use the HTML Decimal Code (for webpages).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#8774;</b>My symbol: ≆

(Method 4) Use the HTML Entity Code (for webpages).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &simne;</b>My symbol: ≆

(Method 5) Use the CSS Code (for webpages).

CSS and HTML TextOutput
span:after {
content: "\2246";}
<span>My symbol:</span>
My symbol: ≆

(Method 6) Use the HTML Hex Code (for webpages and HTML canvas).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#x2246;</b>My symbol: ≆
On the assumption that you already have your canvas and the context set up, use the Hex code in the format 0x2246 to place the ≆ symbol on your canvas. For example:
JavaScript Text
const x = "0x"+"E9"
ctx.fillText(String.fromCodePoint(x), 5, 5);

(Method 7) Use the Unicode (for various, e.g. Microsoft Office, JavaScript, Perl).

The Unicode for ≆ is U+2246. The important part is the hexadecimal number after the U+, which is used in various formats. For example, in Microsoft Office applications (e.g. Word, PowerPoint), do the following:
[Hold down Alt]
[Press x]

(The 2246 turns into ≆. Note that you can omit any leading zeros.)
In JavaScript, the syntax is \uXXXX. So, our example would be \u2246. (Note that the format is 4 hexadecimal characters.)
JavaScript TextOutput
let str = "\u2246"
document.write("My symbol: " + str)
My symbol: ≆