The Mathematical Symbol "Circled Minus (⊖)"

The ⊖ Symbol in Mathematics: Circled Minus

In the vast realm of mathematical symbols, the ⊖ or "Circled Minus" holds a unique place. It's an operator that's both intuitive in its design and versatile in its application.


The ⊖ symbol, visually representing a minus sign enclosed within a circle, is primarily employed in algebra and set theory. In algebraic contexts, it often denotes a binary operation specific to the mathematical structure in question. In set theory, it represents the symmetric difference between two sets.


  • Example 1: In set theory:
    Let \( A = \{1, 2, 3\} \) and \( B = \{3, 4, 5\} \). Then:
    \( A ⊖ B = \{1, 2, 4, 5\} \)
    This represents all the elements that are in either of the sets, but not in both.
  • Example 2: In algebra:
    If one is working within a specific algebraic structure, the ⊖ symbol could represent a custom operation, defined based on the properties of that structure.

In summary, the ⊖ symbol, while seemingly straightforward, can have various interpretations depending on the mathematical context. Recognizing its nuances and applications aids in a richer understanding of mathematical expressions and operations.

Mathematical symbol 'Circled Minus'

Are You Good at Mathematical Symbols?

Do you know, or can you guess, the technical symbols? Well, let's see!
gold cup

gold cup

gold cup

  • This test has questions.
  • A correct answer is worth 5 points.
  • You can get up to 5 bonus points for a speedy answer.
  • Some questions demand more than one answer. You must get every part right.
  • Beware! Wrong answers score 0 points.
  • 🏆 If you beat one of the top 3 scores, you will be invited to apply for the Hall of Fame.
Scoring System

Guru (+)
Hero (+)
Captain (+)
Sergeant (+)
Recruit (+)

Codes for the ⊖ Symbol

The Symbol
Alt CodeAlt 8854
HTML Code⊖
HTML Entity⊖
CSS Code\2296
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 8854. 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: &#8854;</b>My symbol: ⊖

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

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &ominus;</b>My symbol: ⊖

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

CSS and HTML TextOutput
span:after {
content: "\2296";}
<span>My symbol:</span>
My symbol: ⊖

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

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#x2296;</b>My symbol: ⊖
On the assumption that you already have your canvas and the context set up, use the Hex code in the format 0x2296 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+2296. 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 2296 turns into ⊖. Note that you can omit any leading zeros.)
In JavaScript, the syntax is \uXXXX. So, our example would be \u2296. (Note that the format is 4 hexadecimal characters.)
JavaScript TextOutput
let str = "\u2296"
document.write("My symbol: " + str)
My symbol: ⊖