exclamationBritish informal dated
- the longer signal of the two used in Morse code. Compare with dot1.
- 5short for dashboard.
Middle English (in the sense 'strike forcibly against'): probably symbolic of forceful movement and related to Swedish daska and Danish daske
A punctuation mark that looks like an extended hyphen. It comes in two sizes, an em dash (—) and an en dash (–).An em dash is used to mark a break in sentences: It can be used in pairs to show words in parenthesis:In brute material terms, he was an accomplice—in fact, a conspirator—to the murder of millions of children. It can introduce something that develops, or is an example of, what has gone before:You must have seen it, I am sure—the blue flag with a white square in the middle. It can introduce an aside by the writer:I occupied Piers' old studio and Toby the three guest rooms—this purely for company. In direct speech, it can show that someone breaks off in mid sentence, or is interrupted:I smiled and she said, “You mean you want me to —?” An en dash is used to show sequences:1999–2000 an A-Z guide. In sequences, either use from 1999 to 2000 or 1999–2000; mixing the two styles—e.g., from 1999–2000—is wrong.