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A solidus or slash, /, is a punctuation mark. It is also called a diagonal, separatrix, shilling mark, stroke, or virgule.

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The most common use is to replace the hyphen to make clear a strong joint between words or phrases, such as "the Ernest Hemingway/William Faulkner generation".

For a specialized use of the slash in the titles of fan fiction stories, see slash fiction.


A solidus is used in to separate numerator and denominator in a vulgar fraction or as a division operator in general.

3/8 – three eighths

x = a / bx equals a divided by b


Usually called a slash or sometimes, unnecessarily, a forward slash, / is used to separate directory or names in Unix file paths and in URLs.


This is in contrast to the backslash \ which is path delimiter on Microsoft Windows systems. Windows uses the backslash rather than the slash because in the early days of MS-DOS -- before directories were supported! -- the slash was chosen as the command-line option indicator:

dir /w /ogn c:\windows\


Before decimalisation[?] in the UK, / was used to separate pounds, shillings, and pence values.

2/6 – two shillings and six pence
10/- – ten shillings
1/19/11 – one pound, nineteen shillings, and eleven pence

In computer programming, the solidus corresponds to Unicode and ASCII character 47, or 0x002F.

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