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An ampersand (&) is a symbolic abbreviation for and, deriving from a ligature of the letters 'et' (et is Latin for and). This is apparent in the example shown above right; the example on the left, now more common, is a later development.

Historically, & was regarded as the 27th letter of the Latin alphabet. The name derives from and per se and.

It is generally used interchangeably with and. However, in film credits for story, screenplay, etc., & indicates a closer collaboration than and.

The ampersand represents a vowel in the orthography for the Marshallese language.

The ampersand corresponds to Unicode and ASCII character 38, or hexadecimal 0x0026.

In some computer programming languages, the & sign is used to indicate logical and.