Definition of ampersand in English:

Share this entry

ampersand

Pronunciation: /ˈampəsand/

noun

The sign & (standing for and, as in Smith & Co., or the Latin et, as in &c.).
Example sentences
  • This includes quotes, apostrophes, ellipses, em and en dashes, multiplication symbols, and ampersands.
  • But what is so special about the ampersand, specifically, in regard to this?
  • To keep your URL as simple as possible, try to exclude characters such as question marks and ampersands.

Origin

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

More
  • A corruption of ‘and per se and’, an old phrase that used to be chanted by schoolchildren as a way of learning the character &. Per se is Latin for ‘by itself’, so the phrase can be translated ‘& by itself is and’. The word is recorded from the mid 19th century, while the symbol itself is based on a Roman shorthand symbol for Latin et ‘and’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: am¦per|sand

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.