Less Than Symbol

< Like many other symbols in the mathematical notation, the less than signs hold great importance. It looks like <. The less-than sign is used widely in all fields of mathematics and also in our daily life. Below we will discuss in detail the less-than sign, where it should be used and how is it different from other similar signs.

What does the less than symbol mean in math?

The less than symbol along with the greater than symbol is used to represent the concept of inequality in math. That means if the relationship between two numbers or quantities of not that on equality where the = sign is used then it is evident that the two quantities are not equal to each other. That automatically means that one is less than or greater than the other.

The less than symbol provides a means to give a comparison between the two stated values by indicating that one of them is less than the other. It is to be noted that when using the less-than sign, the first of the two variables is always less than the second one, as in ascending order. This is the only way the symbol makes sense.

History of the less than symbol

We started using the equality sign in math around 450 years ago and the inequality signs were used for the first time by a French mathematician, Pierre Bouguer in 1734 but similar signs were used by a logician, John Wallis way before in 1670.

How to use the less-than symbol?

Now that the role and function of the less than symbol have been made clear we can move on to talking about how and where to use this specific symbol. In situations where you have to compare two values and denote the first of the two less than the second one we use the inequality sign i.e < the less-than sign.

An example of how the less than symbol can be used in math is

2a+5c < 4b+9c

The above equation contains constants i.e. 2, 5, 4, and 9, variables i.e. a, b, c, and also symbols i.e. <

The equation states that the sum of 2a and 5c is less than the sum of 4b and 9c.

How do you type the less than symbol?

If you use a digital medium for your work and studies often you would know that it is not as convenient as using your hand for writing anything from many aspects. As the insertion of certain symbols is hard and a majority of the people cannot figure it out. Below the specific steps that needed to be followed to insert the less than sign on various devices have been stated clearly and separately:

Type less than symbol on pc Windows

The easiest way to type the less than sign on windows is using the key having both < and, after pressing the shift button.

Another way, hold the ALT key and typing 60, the less than sign will be appear on the screen. ALT+60 = <

Type less than symbol on Mac

On English PC and Mac keyboards, it is the same as typing on windows that are less than is on the same key as the comma. Pressing and holding down the Shift while pressing the < creates the less than symbol.

Type less than symbol on IPhone

On iPhone three simple steps need to be followed:

  1. Click on the key saying “?123” on the bottom left corner of the iPhone keyboard
  2. After that click on the key stating “#+=” which is located just above the “?123” key on the bottom left corner of the iPhone keyboard.
  3. After this, the symbol keyboard will appear allowing you to choose from several different symbols. You will find them less than sign in the mid of the second row.

Type less than symbol on Android Phone

  1. Open android keyboard, press “?123” button on the bottom left corner.
  2. Press “=\<” button on the bottom left corner.
  3. After this, you can find the less than sign on keyboard.

Type less than symbol in Word

The following steps can be used to insert the less than or greater than sign for that matter on an word:

  1. Click on insert
  2. Choose symbol and a drop-down menu with various symbols will open before you
  3. Choose more symbols from the end of the drop-down menu
  4. A symbol window will pop out from which select “normal text” as font
  5. And then click on Basic Latin as the subset
  6. Choose the less than symbol < and click on insert
  7. The less than symbol will be inserted where your cursor was

Type less than symbol in Excel

Inserting the less than sign in a excel document is similar to inserting them in word. You have to choose the insert tab from the top of the document and click on symbols. A list of symbols will appear, click on more symbols and go to Basic Latin from where you can select the less than symbol < and then click on insert to add it in the document where your cursor was placed.

Codes of less than symbol

If you use a digital medium for your work and studies often you would know that it is not as convenient as using your hand for writing anything from many aspects. As the insertion of certain symbols is hard and a majority of the people cannot figure it out. Below the specific steps that needed to be followed to insert the less than sign on various devices have been stated clearly and separately:

Difference between <, = and ≤

The above-stated three symbols, even though look somewhat similar but they do not mean the same thing.

Less than sign

< The < is the symbol for the less-than sign. This is used to show that the first-mentioned integer or variable is less than the following one.

For example

2b-11c< 5c+12b

Equal sign

= The = is the symbol for the equality sign which means that the two variables or numbers on either side of the equality sign are equal to each other, none of the two is greater or less than each other.

For example

4a=2b

Less than equal to sign

The last ≤ is the symbol of the less than or equal to function. This means that the variable on the left side of the symbol can either be less than the variable on the right or can be equal to that.

For example

4b ≤ 4c

The above equation means that 4b is either less than or equal to 4c. This is possible if b has a value less than c or equal to c.

Conclusion

We have discussed what the less than sign looks like and explained situations in detail with examples where in the field of mathematics and day-to-day life can this sign be used. Further comments are welcome.

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