# Symbols:Arithmetic and Algebra/Multiplication (Algebra)

Jump to navigation
Jump to search

## Multiplication in Algebra

- $\cdot$

$x \cdot y$ means **$x$ times $y$**, or **$x$ multiplied by $y$**.

A binary operation on two variables.

Usually used when variables are involved (as opposed to numbers) to avoid confusion with the use of $\times$ which could be confused with the symbol $x$ when used as a variable.

It is preferred that the symbol $\cdot$ is not used in arithmetic between numbers, as it can be confused with the decimal point.

Its $\LaTeX$ code is `\cdot`

.

## Also see

See:

for other uses of this symbol.

## Historical Note

The symbol $\cdot$ was the preferred notation of Leibniz, who criticised William Oughtred's invention of $\times$ for being too similar to the letter $x$.

Leibniz's preference $\cdot$ is now widespread.

## Sources

- 2014: Christopher Clapham and James Nicholson:
*The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Mathematics*(5th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry:**dot**