Definition of ampersand
: a character typically & standing for the word and
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Recent Examples of ampersand from the Web
The groundbreaking sitcom stars and their iconic ampersand are back in the spotlight in NBC's latest teaser for the show, which returns this fall more than a decade after the 2006 series finale.
The GLAAD ampersand has also been a fashion staple during awards season, having previously been seen on Sting at the 2017 Oscars.
The business has emerged as a Chipotle-of-pizza of sorts, with a cult following of both customers and employees, who have willingly had the restaurant’s symbol, the ampersand, tattooed on their bodies.
In addition, while the less common symbols—including the ampersand—are the least common of all characters, a comma is actually seen more often than certain letters of the alphabet, such as ‘v’ or ‘
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ampersand'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Despite appearances, the history of ampersand owes nothing to amp or sand. The familiar character & derives from a symbol that was used in place of the Latin word et, which also means "and." In the late Middle Ages, single letters used as words-words like I-were, when spelled, incorporated into a phrase that clarified that they were in fact individual words. For I the phrase was I per se, I, which in Latin means I by itself (is the word) I. In early lists of the alphabet, Z was followed by the symbol &, which was rendered & per se, and, meaning "& by itself (is the word) and." Over the years, that phrase (which when spoken aloud was pronounced "and per se and") was shortened by English speakers to ampersand.
Origin and Etymology of ampersand
alteration of and (&) per se and, literally, (the character) & by itself (is the word) and
First Known Use: 1795See Words from the same year
AMPERSAND Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ampersand for English Language Learners
: a character & that is used for the word and
AMPERSAND Defined for Kids
Definition of ampersand for Students
: a character & standing for the word and
Seen and Heard
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