The Mathematical Symbol "Very Much Less-Than (⋘)"

The ⋘ Symbol in Mathematics: Representing "Very Much Less-Than"

Mathematics abounds with symbols, each with its unique meaning and significance. Among them, the ⋘ symbol stands for "Very Much Less-Than", a notation that emphasizes an extreme inequality between two entities. This article explores the primary applications of the ⋘ symbol, supported by illustrative examples.


The ⋘ symbol is a more emphatic version of the standard less-than symbol (<). It is employed to denote that one quantity is not just smaller, but significantly smaller than another. This kind of notation is particularly useful in contexts where it's essential to stress the scale of difference between two values.


  • Example 1: When comparing infinitesimals with finite values. If \( \epsilon \) is an infinitesimally small positive number, then we might say:
    \( \epsilon ⋘ 1 \)
    This emphasizes that \( \epsilon \) is not just smaller than 1, but negligibly small in comparison.
  • Example 2: In certain mathematical proofs or arguments, we might need to stress the tiny magnitude of a particular error term \( E \) compared to a function \( f(x) \). If \( E \) is exceedingly small when set against \( f(x) \), the relation can be written as:
    \( E ⋘ f(x) \).

In essence, the ⋘ symbol provides mathematicians with a tool to express profound inequalities. Whether highlighting the minuscule nature of a value or underscoring a significant difference, the "Very Much Less-Than" symbol is a valuable asset in mathematical notation.

Mathematical symbol 'Very Much Less-Than'

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Codes for the ⋘ Symbol

The Symbol
Alt CodeAlt 8920
HTML Code&#8920;
HTML Entity&Ll;
CSS Code\22D8
Hex Code&#x22D8;

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 8920. 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: &#8920;</b>My symbol: ⋘

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

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &Ll;</b>My symbol: ⋘

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

CSS and HTML TextOutput
span:after {
content: "\22D8";}
<span>My symbol:</span>
My symbol: ⋘

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

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#x22D8;</b>My symbol: ⋘
On the assumption that you already have your canvas and the context set up, use the Hex code in the format 0x22D8 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+22D8. 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 22D8 turns into ⋘. Note that you can omit any leading zeros.)
In JavaScript, the syntax is \uXXXX. So, our example would be \u22D8. (Note that the format is 4 hexadecimal characters.)
JavaScript TextOutput
let str = "\u22D8"
document.write("My symbol: " + str)
My symbol: ⋘