# Tilde

~
Tilde
˜ ̃
Small tilde Tilde operator Combining tilde

The tilde (/ˈtɪldə/;[1] ˜ or ~)[2] is a grapheme with several uses. The name of the character came into English from Spanish, which in turn came from the Latin titulus, meaning "title" or "superscription."[1]

The reason for the name was that it was originally written over a letter as a scribal abbreviation, as a "mark of suspension", shown as a straight line when used with capitals. Thus the commonly used words Anno Domini were frequently abbreviated to Ao Dñi, an elevated terminal with a suspension mark placed over the "n". Such a mark could denote the omission of one letter or several letters. This saved on the expense of the scribe's labour and the cost of vellum and ink. Medieval European charters written in Latin are largely made up of such abbreviated words with suspension marks and other abbreviations; only uncommon words were given in full. The tilde has since been applied to a number of other uses as a diacritic mark or a character in its own right. These are encoded in Unicode at U+0303 ̃ COMBINING TILDE and U+007E ~ TILDE (as a spacing character), and there are additional similar characters for different roles. In lexicography, the latter kind of tilde and the swung dash (⁓) are used in dictionaries to indicate the omission of the entry word.[3]

## Common use

This symbol (in English) informally[4] means "approximately", "about", or "around", such as "~30 minutes before", meaning "approximately 30 minutes before".[5][6] It can mean "similar to",[7] including "of the same order of magnitude as",[4] such as: "x ~ y" meaning that x and y are of the same order of magnitude. Another approximation symbol is the double-tilde , meaning "approximately equal to",[5][7][8] the critical difference being the subjective level of accuracy: ≈ indicates a value which can be considered functionally equivalent for a calculation within an acceptable degree of error, whereas ~ is usually used to indicate a larger, possibly significant, degree of error. The tilde is also used to indicate "equal to" or "approximately equal to" by placing it over the "=" symbol, like so: .

## History

### Use by medieval scribes

Text of Exeter Domesday Book of 1086

The text of the Domesday Book of 1086, relating for example, to the manor of Molland in Devon (see image left), is highly abbreviated as indicated by numerous tildes. The text with abbreviations expanded is as follows:

"Mollande tempore regis Edwardi geldabat pro iiii hidis et uno ferling. Terra est xl carucis. In dominio sunt iii carucae et x servi et xxx villani et xx bordarii cum xvi carucis. Ibi xii acrae prati et xv acrae silvae. Pastura iii leugae in longitudine et latitudine. Libras ad pensam. Huic manerio est adjuncta Blachepole. Elwardus tenebat tempore regis Edwardi pro manerio et geldabat pro dimidia hida. Terra est ii carucis. Ibi sunt v villani cum i servo. Valet xx solidos ad pensam et arsuram. Eidem manerio est injuste adjuncta Nimete et valet xv solidos. Ipsi manerio pertinet tercius denarius de Hundredis Nortmoltone et Badentone et Brantone et tercium animal pasturae morarum."

### Role of mechanical typewriters

The incorporation of the tilde (~) into ASCII is a direct result of its appearance as a distinct character on mechanical typewriters in the late nineteenth century. When all character sets were pieces of metal permanently installed, and number of characters much more limited than in typography, the question of which languages and markets required which characters was an important one. Any good typewriter store had a catalog of alternative keyboards that could be specified for machines ordered from the factory.

At that time, the tilde was used only in Spanish and Portuguese typewriters (keyboards). In Modern Spanish, the tilde is used only with n and N. Both were conveniently assigned to a single mechanical typebar, which sacrificed a key that was felt to be less important, usually the 1214 key.

Portuguese, however, uses not ñ but nh. It uses the tilde on the vowels a and o. So as not to sacrifice two of the tightly limited keys to ã Ã õ Õ, the decision was made to make the ~ a separate "dead" character in which the carriage holding the paper did not move. Dead keys, which had a notch cut out to avoid hitting a mechanical linkage that triggered carriage movement, were used for characters that were intended to be combined (overstruck).

On mechanical typewriters, Spanish keyboards (the first, or one of the first, non-English keyboards) had a dead key, which contained the acute accent (´), used over any vowel, and the dieresis (¨), used only over u. It was a simple matter to create a dead key for a Portuguese keyboard (created later than the Spanish one) to be overstruck with a and o and so the ~ was born as a typographical character, which did not exist previously as a type or hot-lead printing character. That was probably a product of the first and leading manufacturer of (mechanical) typewriters, Remington.

## Connection to Spanish

Main article: Ñ
Logo of the Instituto Cervantes
Logo of CNN en Español

As indicated by the etymological origin of the word "tilde" in English, this symbol has been closely associated with the Spanish language. The connection stems from the use of the tilde above the letter "n" to form "ñ" in Spanish, a feature shared by only a few other languages, all historically connected to Spanish. This peculiarity can help non-native speakers quickly identify a text as being written in Spanish with little chance of error. In addition, most native speakers, although not all, use the word "español" to refer to their language. Particularly during the 1990s, Spanish-speaking intellectuals and news outlets demonstrated support for the language and the culture by defending this letter against globalisation and computerisation trends that threatened to remove it from keyboards and other standardised products and codes.[9][10] The Instituto Cervantes, founded by Spain's government to promote the Spanish language internationally, chose as its logo a highly stylised Ñ with a large tilde. A 24-hour news channel CNN in the US later adopted a similar strategy on its existing logo for the launch of its Spanish-language version.

## Diacritical use

In some languages, the tilde is used as a diacritical mark (˜) placed over a letter to indicate a change in pronunciation, such as nasalization.

### Pitch

It was first used in the polytonic orthography of Ancient Greek, as a variant of the circumflex, representing a rise in pitch followed by a return to standard pitch.

### Abbreviation

Carta marina showing Finnish economy, with the captions Hic fabricantur naves and Hic fabricantur bombarde abbreviated

Later, it was used to make abbreviations in medieval Latin documents. When an n or m followed a vowel, it was often omitted, and a tilde (i.e., a small n) was placed over the preceding vowel to indicate the missing letter; this is the origin of the use of tilde to indicate nasalization (compare the development of the umlaut as an abbreviation of e.) The practice of using the tilde over a vowel to indicate omission of an n or m continued in printed books in French as a means of reducing text length until the 17th century. It was also used in Portuguese, and Spanish.

The tilde was also used occasionally to make other abbreviations, such as over the letter q ("") to signify the word que ("that").

### Nasalization

It is also as a small n that the tilde originated when written above other letters, marking a Latin n which had been elided in old Galician-Portuguese. In modern Portuguese it indicates nasalization of the base vowel: mão "hand", from Lat. manu-; razões "reasons", from Lat. rationes. This usage has been adopted in the orthographies of several native languages of South America, such as Guarani and Nheengatu, as well as in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and many other phonetic alphabets. For example, [ljɔ̃] is the IPA transcription of the pronunciation of the French place-name Lyon.

In Breton, the symbol ñ after a vowel means that the letter n serves only to give the vowel a nasalised pronunciation, without being itself pronounced, as it normally is. For example, an gives the pronunciation [ãn] whereas gives [ã].

### Palatal n

Main article: Ñ

The tilded n (ñ, Ñ) developed from the digraph nn in Spanish. In this language, ñ is considered a separate letter called eñe (IPA: [ˈeɲe]), rather than a letter-diacritic combination; it is placed in Spanish dictionaries between the letters n and o. As the word tilde can also refer to the most common diacritic in this language, e.g., the acute accent in José is also called a tilde in Spanish,[11] the diacritic in ñ is called "virgulilla".[12] Current languages in which the tilded n (ñ) is used for the palatal nasal consonant /ɲ/ include:

### Tone

In Vietnamese, a tilde over a vowel represents a creaky rising tone (ngã).

### International Phonetic Alphabet

In phonetics, a tilde is used as a diacritic either placed above a letter, below it or superimposed onto the middle of it (see International Phonetic Alphabet → Diacritics):

• A tilde above a letter indicates nasalization, e.g. [ã], [ṽ].
• A tilde superimposed onto the middle of a letter indicates velarization or pharyngealization, e.g. [ɫ], [z̴]. If no precomposed Unicode character exists, the Unicode character U+0334 ̴ COMBINING TILDE OVERLAY can be used to generate one.
• A tilde below a letter indicates laryngealisation, e.g. [d̰]. If no precomposed Unicode character exists, the Unicode character U+0330 ̰ COMBINING TILDE BELOW can be used to generate one.

### Letter extension

In Estonian, the symbol õ stands for the close-mid back unrounded vowel, and it is considered an independent letter.

### Other uses

Some languages and alphabets use the tilde for other purposes:

• Arabic script: A symbol resembling the tilde (U+0653 ـٓ ARABIC MADDAH ABOVE) is used over the letter ا (/a/) to become آ, denoting a long /aː/ sound ([ʔæː]).
• Guaraní: The tilded (note that G/g with tilde is not available as a precomposed glyph in Unicode) stands for the velar nasal consonant. Also, the tilded y () stands for the nasalized upper central rounded vowel [ɨ̃]. A small number of other alphabets also use .
• Syriac script: A tilde (~) under the letter Kaph represents a [t͡ʃ] sound, transliterated as ch or č.[13]
• Unicode has a combining vertical tilde character: U+033E ̾ COMBINING VERTICAL TILDE. It is used to indicate middle tone in linguistic transcription of certain dialects of the Lithuanian language.[14]

### Precomposed Unicode characters

The following letters using the tilde as a diacritic exist as precomposed or combining Unicode characters:

Letter Code point Name
U+1EB4 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A WITH BREVE AND TILDE
U+1EB5 LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH BREVE AND TILDE
U+1EAA LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A WITH CIRCUMFLEX AND TILDE
U+1EAB LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH CIRCUMFLEX AND TILDE
Ã U+00C3 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A WITH TILDE
ã U+00E3 LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH TILDE
U+1D6C LATIN SMALL LETTER B WITH MIDDLE TILDE
U+1D6D LATIN SMALL LETTER D WITH MIDDLE TILDE
U+1EC4 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER E WITH CIRCUMFLEX AND TILDE
U+1EC5 LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH CIRCUMFLEX AND TILDE
U+1E1A LATIN CAPITAL LETTER E WITH TILDE BELOW
U+1E1B LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH TILDE BELOW
U+1EBC LATIN CAPITAL LETTER E WITH TILDE
U+1EBD LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH TILDE
U+1D6E LATIN SMALL LETTER F WITH MIDDLE TILDE
U+1E2C LATIN CAPITAL LETTER I WITH TILDE BELOW
U+1E2D LATIN SMALL LETTER I WITH TILDE BELOW
Ĩ U+0128 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER I WITH TILDE
ĩ U+0129 LATIN SMALL LETTER I WITH TILDE
U+2C62 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER L WITH MIDDLE TILDE
ɫ U+026B LATIN SMALL LETTER L WITH MIDDLE TILDE
U+AB5E MODIFIER LETTER SMALL L WITH MIDDLE TILDE
U+AB38 LATIN SMALL LETTER L WITH DOUBLE MIDDLE TILDE
◌ᷬ U+1DEC COMBINING LATIN SMALL LETTER L WITH DOUBLE MIDDLE TILDE
U+1D6F LATIN SMALL LETTER M WITH MIDDLE TILDE
U+1D70 LATIN SMALL LETTER N WITH MIDDLE TILDE
Ñ U+00D1 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER N WITH TILDE
ñ U+00F1 LATIN SMALL LETTER N WITH TILDE
U+1ED6 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH CIRCUMFLEX AND TILDE
U+1ED7 LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH CIRCUMFLEX AND TILDE
U+1EE0 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH HORN AND TILDE
U+1EE1 LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH HORN AND TILDE
U+1E4C LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH TILDE AND ACUTE
U+1E4D LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH TILDE AND ACUTE
U+1E4E LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH TILDE AND DIAERESIS
U+1E4F LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH TILDE AND DIAERESIS
Ȭ U+022C LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH TILDE AND MACRON
ȭ U+022D LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH TILDE AND MACRON
Õ U+00D5 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH TILDE
õ U+00F5 LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH TILDE
U+1D71 LATIN SMALL LETTER P WITH MIDDLE TILDE
U+1D73 LATIN SMALL LETTER R WITH FISHHOOK AND MIDDLE TILDE
U+1D72 LATIN SMALL LETTER R WITH MIDDLE TILDE
U+1D74 LATIN SMALL LETTER S WITH MIDDLE TILDE
U+1D75 LATIN SMALL LETTER T WITH MIDDLE TILDE
U+1EEE LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U WITH HORN AND TILDE
U+1EEF LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH HORN AND TILDE
U+1E78 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U WITH TILDE AND ACUTE
U+1E79 LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH TILDE AND ACUTE
U+1E74 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U WITH TILDE BELOW
U+1E75 LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH TILDE BELOW
Ũ U+0168 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U WITH TILDE
ũ U+0169 LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH TILDE
U+1E7C LATIN CAPITAL LETTER V WITH TILDE
U+1E7D LATIN SMALL LETTER V WITH TILDE
U+1EF8 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Y WITH TILDE
U+1EF9 LATIN SMALL LETTER Y WITH TILDE
U+1D76 LATIN SMALL LETTER Z WITH MIDDLE TILDE

## Similar characters

There are many Unicode characters for tildes, symbols incorporating tildes, and characters visually similar to a tilde:

~ U+007E TILDE Same as keyboard tilde. In-line.
˜ U+02DC SMALL TILDE Raised but quite small.
˷ U+02F7 MODIFIER LETTER LOW TILDE
◌̃ U+0303 COMBINING TILDE
◌̰ U+0330 COMBINING TILDE BELOW Used in IPA to indicate creaky voice
◌̴ U+0334 COMBINING TILDE OVERLAY Used in IPA to indicate velarization or pharyngealization
◌̾ U+033E COMBINING VERTICAL TILDE
◌͂ U+0342 COMBINING GREEK PERISPOMENI Used as an Ancient Greek accent under the name "circumflex"; it can also be written as an inverted breve.
◌͊ U+034A COMBINING NOT TILDE ABOVE Raised, small, with slash through.
◌͠◌ U+0360 COMBINING DOUBLE TILDE
◌֘ U+0598 HEBREW ACCENT ZARQA Hebrew cantillation mark.
◌֮ U+05AE HEBREW ACCENT ZINOR Hebrew cantillation mark.
◌᷉ U+1DC9 COMBINING ACUTE-GRAVE-ACUTE Used in IPA as a tone mark.
U+2053 SWUNG DASH
U+223C TILDE OPERATOR Used in mathematics. In-line. Ends not curved as much.
U+223D REVERSED TILDE In some fonts it is the tilde's simple mirror image; others extend the tips to resemble a .
U+223F SINE WAVE
U+2241 NOT TILDE
U+2242 MINUS TILDE
U+2243 ASYMPTOTICALLY EQUAL TO
U+2244 NOT ASYMPTOTICALLY EQUAL TO
U+2245 APPROXIMATELY EQUAL TO
U+2246 APPROXIMATELY BUT NOT ACTUALLY EQUAL TO
U+2247 NEITHER APPROXIMATELY NOR ACTUALLY EQUAL TO
U+2248 ALMOST EQUAL TO
U+2249 NOT ALMOST EQUAL TO
U+224A ALMOST EQUAL OR EQUAL TO
U+224B TRIPLE TILDE
U+224C ALL EQUAL TO
U+22CD REVERSED TILDE EQUALS
U+2368 APL FUNCTIONAL SYMBOL TILDE DIAERESIS
U+236B APL FUNCTIONAL SYMBOL DEL TILDE
U+236D APL FUNCTIONAL SYMBOL STILE TILDE
U+2371 APL FUNCTIONAL SYMBOL DOWN CARET TILDE
U+2372 APL FUNCTIONAL SYMBOL UP CARET TILDE
U+2972 TILDE OPERATOR ABOVE RIGHTWARDS ARROW
U+2973 LEFTWARDS ARROW ABOVE TILDE OPERATOR
U+2974 RIGHTWARDS ARROW ABOVE TILDE OPERATOR
U+29E4 EQUALS SIGN AND SLANTED PARALLEL WITH TILDE ABOVE
U+2A24 PLUS SIGN WITH TILDE ABOVE
U+2A26 PLUS SIGN WITH TILDE BELOW
U+2A6A TILDE OPERATOR WITH DOT ABOVE
U+2A6B TILDE OPERATOR WITH RISING DOTS
U+2A73 EQUALS SIGN ABOVE TILDE OPERATOR
U+2AC7 SUBSET OF ABOVE TILDE OPERATOR
U+2AC8 SUPERSET OF ABOVE TILDE OPERATOR
U+2AF3 PARALLEL WITH TILDE OPERATOR
U+2B41 REVERSE TILDE OPERATOR ABOVE LEFTWARDS ARROW
U+2B47 REVERSE TILDE OPERATOR ABOVE RIGHTWARDS ARROW
U+2B49 TILDE OPERATOR ABOVE LEFTWARDS ARROW
U+2B4B LEFTWARDS ARROW ABOVE REVERSE TILDE OPERATOR
U+2B4C RIGHTWARDS ARROW ABOVE REVERSE TILDE OPERATOR
U+2E1B TILDE WITH RING ABOVE
U+2E1E TILDE WITH DOT ABOVE
U+2E1F TILDE WITH DOT BELOW
U+2E2F VERTICAL TILDE
U+301C WAVE DASH Used in Japanese punctuation.
U+3030 WAVY DASH
◌︢ U+FE22 COMBINING DOUBLE TILDE LEFT HALF
◌︣ U+FE23 COMBINING DOUBLE TILDE RIGHT HALF
◌︩ U+FE29 COMBINING TILDE LEFT HALF BELOW
◌︪ U+FE2A COMBINING TILDE RIGHT HALF BELOW
U+FE4B WAVY OVERLINE
U+FE4F WAVY LOW LINE
U+FF5E FULLWIDTH TILDE 50% wider. In-line. Ends not curved much.
~   U+E007E TAG TILDE Formatting tag control character.

## ASCII tilde (U+007E)

 Serif: —~— Sans-serif: —~— Monospace: —~— A tilde between two em dashesin three font families
Raised tilde from a dot matrix printer

Most modern proportional fonts align plain spacing tilde at the same level as dashes, or only slightly upper. This distinguishes it from a small tilde ( ˜ ), which is always raised. But in some monospace fonts, especially used in text user interfaces, ASCII tilde character is raised too. This apparently is a legacy of typewriters, where pairs of similar spacing and combining characters relied on one glyph. Even in line printers' age character repertoires were often not large enough to distinguish between plain tilde, small tilde and combining tilde. Overprinting of a letter by the tilde was a working method of combining a letter.

## Punctuation

The swung dash (~) is used in various ways in punctuation:

### Authorial intention

The sports blog Card Chronicle uses the tilde as a form of irony punctuation after the period at the end of a sentence: it indicates that readers should take the preceding text as intended sarcastically.[15]

### Range

In some languages (though not generally in English), a tilde-like wavy dash may be used as punctuation (instead of an unspaced hyphen or en-dash) between two numbers, to indicate a range rather than subtraction or a hyphenated number (such as a part number or model number). For example, "12~15" means "12 to 15", "~3" means "up to three", and "100~" means "100 and greater". Japanese and other East Asian languages almost always use this convention, but it is often done for clarity in some other languages as well. Chinese uses the wavy dash and full-width em dash interchangeably for this purpose. In English, the tilde is often used to express ranges and model numbers in electronics, but rarely in formal grammar or in type-set documents, as a wavy dash preceding a number sometimes represents an approximation (see below).

### Approximation

Before a number the tilde can mean "approximately"; "~42" means "approximately 42".[16]

### Japanese

The wave dash (波ダッシュ nami dasshu) is used for various purposes in Japanese, including to denote ranges of numbers, in place of dashes or brackets, and to indicate origin. The wave dash is also used to separate a title and a subtitle in the same line, as a colon is used in English.

When used in conversations via email or instant messenger it may be used as a sarcasm mark.

The sign is used as a replacement for the chouon, katakana character, in Japanese, extending the final syllable.

#### Unicode and Shift JIS encoding of wave dash

Correct JIS wave dash.
Incorrect Unicode wave dash.

In practice the full-width tilde (全角チルダ zenkaku chiruda), Unicode U+FF5E, is often used instead of the wave dash (波ダッシュ nami dasshu), Unicode U+301C, because the Shift JIS code for the wave dash, 0x8160, which is supposed to be mapped to U+301C,[17][18] is not mapped to U+301C but mapped to U+FF5E[19] in code page 932 (Microsoft's code page for Japanese), a widely used extension of Shift JIS, in order to avoid the shape definition error in Unicode: the wave dash glyph in JIS/Shift JIS[20] is identical to the Unicode reference glyph for U+FF5E,[21] while the reference glyph for U+301C[22] was incorrectly turned upside down when Unicode imported the JIS wave dash. In other platforms such as Mac OS and Mac OS X, 0x8160 is correctly mapped to U+301C. It is generally difficult, if not impossible, for users of Japanese Windows to type U+301C, especially in legacy, non-Unicode applications.

Nevertheless, the Japanese wave dash is still formally mapped to U+301C as of JIS X 0213. Those two code points have the identical or very similar glyph in several fonts, reducing the confusion and incompatibility.

## Mathematics

### As a unary operator

A tilde in front of a single quantity can mean "approximately", "about" or "of the same order of magnitude as."

In written mathematical logic, the tilde represents negation: "~p" means "not p", where "p" is a proposition. Modern use has been replacing the tilde with the negation symbol (¬) for this purpose, to avoid confusion with equivalence relations.

#### As a relational operator

In mathematics, the tilde operator (Unicode U+223C), sometimes called "twiddle", is often used to denote an equivalence relation between two objects. Thus "x ~ y" means "x is equivalent to y". It is a weaker statement than stating that x equals y. The expression "x ~ y" is sometimes read aloud as "x twiddles y", perhaps as an analogue to the verbal expression of "x = y".[23]

The tilde can indicate approximate equality in a variety of ways. It can be used to denote the asymptotic equality of two functions. For example, f (x) ~ g(x) means that limx → ∞ f( x) ∕ g(x) = 1.[4]

A tilde is also used to indicate "approximately equal to" (e.g. 1.902 ~= 2). This usage probably developed as a typed alternative to the libra symbol used for the same purpose in written mathematics, which is an equal sign with the upper bar replaced by a bar with an upward hump, bump, ︎or loop in the middle (︍︍) or, sometimes, a tilde (≃). The symbol "≈" is also used for this purpose.︎

In physics and astronomy, a tilde can be used between two expressions (e.g. h ~ 10−34 J s) to state that the two are of the same order of magnitude.[4]

In statistics and probability theory, the tilde means "is distributed as";[4] see random variable.

A tilde can also be used to represent geometric similarity (e.g. ABC ~ ∆DEF, meaning triangle ABC is similar to DEF). A triple tilde () is often used to show congruence, an equivalence relation in geometry.

### As an accent

The symbol "" is often pronounced "eff twiddle" or, particularly in American English, "eff wiggle".[24] This can be used to denote the Fourier transform of f, or a lift of f, and can have a variety of other meanings depending on the context.

A tilde placed below a letter in mathematics can represent a vector quantity (e.g. ).

In statistics and probability theory, a tilde placed on top of a variable is sometimes used to represent the median of that variable; thus would indicate the median of the variable . A tilde over the letter n () is sometimes used to indicate the harmonic mean.

## Physics

Often in physics, one can consider an equilibrium solution to an equation, and then a perturbation to that equilibrium. For the variables in the original equation (for instance ) a substitution can be made, where is the equilibrium part and is the perturbed part.

A tilde is also used in particle physics to denote the hypothetical supersymmetric partner. For example, an electron is referred to by the letter e, and its superpartner the selectron is written .

## Economics

For relations involving preference, economists sometimes use the tilde to represent indifference between two or more bundles of goods. For example, to say that a consumer is indifferent between bundles x and y, an economist would write x ~ y.

## Electronics

It can approximate the sine wave symbol (∿, U+223F), which is used in electronics to indicate alternating current, in place of +, −, or ⎓ for direct current.

## Computing

### Other uses

Computer programmers use the tilde in various ways and sometimes call the symbol (as opposed to the diacritic) a squiggle, squiggly, or twiddle. According to the Jargon File, other synonyms sometimes used in programming include not, approx, wiggle, enyay (after eñe) and (humorously) sqiggle /ˈskɪɡəl/. It is used in many languages as a binary inversion operator, swapping a number's binary 1's and 0's for example ~10 (binary ~1010) is equal to 5 (binary 0101).

In Perl 6, "~~" is used instead of "=~".

## Juggling notation

In the juggling notation system Beatmap, tilde can be added to either "hand" in a pair of fields to say "cross the arms with this hand on top". Mills Mess is thus represented as (~2x,1)(1,2x)(2x,~1)*.[34]

## Keyboards

Where a tilde is on the keyboard depends on the computer's language settings according to the following chart. On many keyboards it is primarily available through a dead key that makes it possible to produce a variety of precomposed characters with the diacritic. In that case, a single tilde can typically be inserted with the dead key followed by the space bar, or alternatively by striking the dead key twice in a row.

To insert a tilde with the dead key, it is often necessary to simultaneously hold down the Alt Gr key. On the keyboard layouts that include an Alt Gr key, it typically takes the place of the right-hand Alt key. With a Macintosh either of the Alt/Option keys function similarly.

In the US and European Windows systems, the Alt code for a single tilde is 126.

For Mac use option+'n' key

KeyboardInsert a single tilde (~)Insert a precomposed character with tilde (e.g. ã)
Arabic (Saudi) ⇧ Shift+ذّ
Croatian Alt Gr+1
Danish Alt Gr+¨ followed by Space Alt Gr+¨ followed by the relevant letter
Dvorak Alt Gr+= followed by Space, or

Alt Gr+⇧ Shift+' followed by Space

Alt Gr+= followed by the relevant letter, or

Alt Gr+⇧ Shift+' followed by the relevant letter

English (Australia) ⇧ Shift+
English (Canada) ⇧ Shift+
English (UK) ⇧ Shift+#
English (US) ⇧ Shift+ Ctrl+~ followed by the relevant letter
Faroese Alt Gr+ð followed by Space Alt Gr+ð followed by the relevant letter
Finnish Alt Gr+¨ followed by Space, or

Alt Gr+¨¨

Alt Gr+¨ followed by the relevant letter
French (Canada) Alt Gr+ç followed by Space, or

Alt Gr+çç

Alt Gr+ç followed by the relevant letter
French (France) Alt Gr+é followed by Space, or

Alt Gr+éé
⌥ Option+n (on Mac OS X)

Alt Gr+é followed by the relevant letter
French (Switzerland) Alt Gr+^ followed by Space, or

Alt Gr+^^

Alt Gr+^ followed by the relevant letter
Bépo (French Dvorak) Alt Gr+N followed by Space, or

Alt Gr+K

Alt Gr+N followed by the relevant letter
German (Germany) Alt Gr++
German (Switzerland) Alt Gr+^ followed by Space, or

Alt Gr+^^

Alt Gr+^ followed by the relevant letter
Hebrew (Israel) ⇧ Shift+~ Ctrl+⇧ Shift+~ followed by the relevant letter
Hindi (India) Alt Gr+⇧ Shift+ the key to the left of 1
Hungarian Alt Gr+1
Icelandic Alt Gr+' (the same key as ?)
Italian ⌥ Option+5 (on Mac OS X)

Alt Gr+ì (on Linux)

Norwegian Alt Gr+¨ followed by Space, or

Alt Gr+¨¨.

On Mac: Ctrl+⌥ Option+¨, or ⌥ Option+¨ followed by Space.

Alt Gr+¨ followed by the relevant letter.

On Mac: ⌥ Option+¨ followed by the relevant letter.

Polish ⇧ Shift+ followed by Space,

or ⇧ Shift+`

The dead key is not generally used for inserting characters with tilde; when followed by {a|c|e|l|n|o|s|x|z}, it results in {ą|ć|ę|ł|ń|ó|ś|ź|ż} instead.
Portuguese ~ followed by Space ~ followed by the relevant letter
Slovak Alt Gr+1
Spanish (Spain) Alt Gr+4 followed by Space, or

Alt Gr+44

Alt Gr+4 followed by the relevant letter
Spanish (Latin America) Alt Gr++
Swedish Alt Gr+¨ followed by Space, or

Alt Gr+¨¨

Alt Gr+¨ followed by the relevant letter
Turkish Alt Gr+ü followed by Space, or

Alt Gr+üü

Alt Gr+ü followed by the relevant letter

## References

1. tilde in the American Heritage dictionary
2. Several more or less common informal names are used for the tilde that usually describe the shape, including squiggly, squiggle(s), and flourish.
3. "Swung dash", WordNet (search) (3.0 ed.)
4. "Tilde". Wolfram/MathWorld. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
5. "All Elementary Mathematics – Mathematical symbols dictionary". Bymath. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
6. Quinn, Liam. "HTML 4.0 Entities for Symbols and Greek Letters". HTML help. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
7. "Math Symbols... Those Most Valuable and Important: Approximately Equal Symbol". Solving Math problems. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
8. "26 argumentos para seguir defendiendo la Ñ". La Razón. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
9. AFP. "Batalla de la Ñ: Una aventura quijotesca para defender el alma de la lengua". Periódico ABC Paraguay. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
10. Ortografía de la lengua española. Madrid: Real Academia Española. 2010. p. 279. ISBN 978-84-670-3426-4.
11. "Lema en la RAE". Real_Academia_Española. Retrieved 10 Oct 2015.
12. Nestle, Eberhard (1888). Syrische Grammatik mit Litteratur, Chrestomathie und Glossar. Berlin: H. Reuther's Verlagsbuchhandlung. [translated to English as Syriac grammar with bibliography, chrestomathy and glossary, by R. S. Kennedy. London: Williams & Norgate 1889. p. 5].
13. Lithuanian Standards Board (LST), proposal for a zigazag diacritic
14. Mr_Hobbes (5 August 2014). "The Guide to Card Chronicle's memes/inside jokes/quirks". Card Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-09-24. '~' - This one character maybe the most important here at CC. Quite simply it means don't take what is said before the symbol too seriously. This is our sarcasm marker
15. "Other symbols", Abstract Math.
16. "Appendix 1: Shift_JIS-2004 vs Unicode mapping table", JIS X 0213:2004, X 0213.
17. Shift-JIS to Unicode, Unicode.
18. "Windows 932_81". Microsoft. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
19. "Microsoft Word – 233cover_rev.doc" (PDF). JP: IPSJ. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
20. UFF00 (PDF) (chart), Unicode.
21. U3000 (PDF) (chart), Unicode.
22. Derbyshire, J (2004), Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics, New York: Penguin.
23. Choy, Stephen TL; Jesudason, Judith Packer; Lee, Peng Yee (1988). Proceedings of the Analysis Conference, Singapore 1986. Elsevier. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
24. "Tilde expansion", C Library Manual, The GNU project, retrieved 4 July 2010.
25. "Module mod_userdir", HTTP Server Documentation (version 2.0 ed.), The Apache foundation, retrieved 4 July 2010.
26. RFC 3986, IETF.
27. Groovy Regular Expression User Guide, Code haus.
28. Groovy RegExp FAQ, Code haus.