Symbols:Arithmetic and Algebra/Multiplication (Arithmetic)

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Multiplication of Numbers


Times, or multiplied by.

A binary operation on two numbers or variables.

Usually used when numbers are involved (as opposed to variables) to avoid confusion with the use of $\cdot$ which could be confused with the decimal point.

The symbol $\times$ is cumbersome in the context of algebra, and may be confused with the letter $x$.

Its $\LaTeX$ code is \times .

Also see


Symbols:Cartesian Product
Symbols:Vector Cross Product

for other uses of this symbol.

Historical Note

Use of the symbol $\times$ for multiplication of numbers was invented by William Oughtred, and published in his $1631$ work Clavis Mathematicae.

It was criticised by Leibniz, on the grounds that it was too similar to the letter $x$.

His preferred notation was $\cdot$, which is now widespread.