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

Table of contents
1 Usage:



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 to separate the 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.

A solidus is a gold coin issued by the Romans beginning in the 4th century AD through the Byzantine Empire until the 10th century AD. Later coins are also known by this name.