What does the letter X (=times) stand for?


In many places we meet the letter X as a sign for times. Whether it's in primary school (5x5=25) or when we use lenses of camera or microscope we see the letter X in meaning of times (10X, 1000X etc.).

What does X letter stands for in English, if any?

Judicious Allure

Posted 2019-05-19T07:15:28.567

Reputation: 24 598



It isn't the letter x, it is the multiplication sign ×

As the standard keyboard does not have this symbol, is is quite common to replace it with the letter x, even though that sometimes causes confusion. It seems that the multiplication sign was formed as a variation on + (which is an shorthand for Latin "et")

James K

Posted 2019-05-19T07:15:28.567

Reputation: 80 781

On my Windows system I can get the symbol by holding down Alt key, typing 0215 on the numeric keypad, then releasing the Alt key. × × ×. On Macs & Unix/Linux it is different, but a maths student, teacher, or writer will know the methods. – Michael Harvey – 2019-05-19T07:41:43.180


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The cross-shaped symbol that signifies multiplication is not a letter X, although it does resemble the letter in some ways (it is 90 degree rotationally symmetric, which the letter is not, in most fonts). Using a letter 'x' is considered incorrect in mathematical writing. The use of the symbol is believed to date from the early 17th century, 1620 approximately.

Multiplication sign

Michael Harvey

Posted 2019-05-19T07:15:28.567

Reputation: 31 750