Definition of ampersand in English:



  • The sign & (standing for and, as in Smith & Co., or the Latin et, as in &c.).

    • ‘This includes quotes, apostrophes, ellipses, em and en dashes, multiplication symbols, and ampersands.’
    • ‘Most of my coding validates, but when it doesn't it's usually due to the fact that there's an ampersand or something like that in a link and it doesn't like it.’
    • ‘An accelerator key (marked with an underline beneath the letter that you would use on the label of a button) can be set with an ampersand placed in front of the letter you are using.’
    • ‘So, I wrote my own little code snippet that grabbed the URL, split on the question mark and then split the second element of that array on ampersands.’
    • ‘Since my blogger app simply turns the posting's first paragraph into its item description, an ampersand in graph one brought the feed to its knees.’
    • ‘The prime was followed by a mask comprising a series of 15 ampersands that remained on screen for 500 ms, followed by a 300-ms blank screen.’
    • ‘These are little labels enclosed between an ampersand and a semi-colon.’
    • ‘To keep your URL as simple as possible, try to exclude characters such as question marks and ampersands.’
    • ‘Each line is a command to run, and, with the exception of the window manager line, each command must be placed in the background using the ampersand.’
    • ‘The ampersand is an ancient Roman symbol derived from the ligature or combination into one character of the e and t in the Latin et, meaning and.’
    • ‘But what is so special about the ampersand, specifically, in regard to this?’
    • ‘I enjoy this because, as any cursory glance through my journals will attest, I use squashy, amorphous ampersands with abandon when I'm writing for no one but myself.’
    • ‘To avoid any further confusion, though, Ryan took the ampersand out of the show's title and replaced it with a slash.’
    • ‘We catch things like unencoded ampersands and can correct some other common XHTML mistakes.’
    • ‘You no longer even need to know that secret web language of strange acronyms and miscellaneous ampersands that kept it all much more exclusive in the Good Old Days.’
    • ‘Still its nice to see clearly, I'd forgotten that an ampersand was not in fact solid blobs of black with a tail but had spaces in between.’
    • ‘But Gilbert & George (the ampersand is vital) never grew up.’
    • ‘There's a red ampersand imposed over their chests.’
    • ‘He utilizes the ampersand as a ‘measured pause’ which allows the reader, like the musician, to breathe while playing/singing.’
    • ‘On the homepage, doing a quick validation, there's only one error that doesn't come from that code, and that's because I put an ampersand on the page without properly encoding it.’


Late 18th century: alteration of and per se and ‘ & by itself is and ’, formerly chanted as an aid to learning the sign.