The Mathematical Symbol "Much Less-Than (≪)"

The ≪ Symbol in Mathematics: Much Less-Than

Mathematics is adorned with a plethora of symbols, each encapsulating a distinct concept or relation. The ≪ symbol, signifying "Much Less-Than", is one such symbol that has specific implications in mathematical contexts. This article aims to elaborate on its use and significance, complemented by examples for clearer understanding.


The ≪ symbol is primarily used to represent a strong inequality between two values, emphasizing that one value is not just less than, but much less than the other. This can be especially useful in contexts like asymptotic analysis or when discussing bounds that differ by a wide margin.


  • Example 1: In the study of algorithmic complexity, one might encounter relations like:
    \( n^2 ≪ 2^n \)
    This means that, for sufficiently large values of \( n \), \( n^2 \) grows much more slowly than \( 2^n \).
  • Example 2: In certain mathematical analyses, to stress the insignificance of a term compared to another, one might say:
    \( \epsilon ≪ 1 \)
    Here, \( \epsilon \) is not just less than 1, but much less than 1, indicating its negligible nature in certain computations.

To wrap up, the ≪ symbol serves as a powerful notation in mathematics to stress a pronounced inequality between two quantities. By emphasizing the substantial difference, it aids in conveying more nuanced mathematical statements and relations.

Mathematical symbol 'Much Less-Than'

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Codes for the ≪ Symbol

The Symbol
Alt CodeAlt 8810
HTML Code≪
HTML Entity≪
CSS Code\226A
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 8810. 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: &#8810;</b>My symbol: ≪

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

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &Lt;</b>My symbol: ≪

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

CSS and HTML TextOutput
span:after {
content: "\226A";}
<span>My symbol:</span>
My symbol: ≪

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

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#x226A;</b>My symbol: ≪
On the assumption that you already have your canvas and the context set up, use the Hex code in the format 0x226A 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+226A. 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 226A turns into ≪. Note that you can omit any leading zeros.)
In JavaScript, the syntax is \uXXXX. So, our example would be \u226A. (Note that the format is 4 hexadecimal characters.)
JavaScript TextOutput
let str = "\u226A"
document.write("My symbol: " + str)
My symbol: ≪