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Diacritical marks
designation character
Acute, simple ◌́
Acute, double ◌̋
Breve, about it ◌̆
Breve, including ◌̮
Cedilla, including ◌̧
Cedilla, about it ◌̒
Gravis, simple ◌̀
Gravis, double ◌̏
hook ◌̉
Hatschek ◌̌
horn ◌̛
Comma below ◌̦
Coronis ◌̓
Kroužek, about it ◌̊
Kroužek, including ◌̥
Macron, about it ◌̄
Macron, underneath ◌̱
Ogonek ◌̨
Period about that ◌̇
Point below ◌̣
Dash ◌̶
Alcohol asper ◌̔
Spiritus lenis ◌̕
Tilde, about it ◌̃
Tilde, underneath ◌̰
Trema, about it ◌̈
Trema, including ◌̤
circumflex ◌̂
Ãã Ĩĩ Ññ Õõ

The tilde ( ~ ) ( Spanish tilde , Portuguese til , from Latin titulus 'headline', 'over mark') is a character in the form of a horizontal wavy line formed from two bays of equal size. The mark serves as a punctuation mark , as a diacritical mark and as a symbol in some technical languages.

Two tildes on top of each other form the approximate sign (≈).

Meanings and Uses

As a diacritical mark

As a diacritical mark , the tilde is used to identify a particular pronunciation or accentuation of a letter. It's a little wavy line with the arch going up first, then down. The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) has the following tildes:

character description meaning IPA number Unicode number example
◌̃ in connection with a sound symbol below nasal 424 U + 0303 [ ã ], [ ñ ]
◌̰ subordinated to a sound symbol ( tilde below ) Glottalization 406 U + 0330 [ ], [ ]
◌̴ covering the sound symbol velarized or pharyngealized 428 U + 0334 [⁠ ɫ ⁠]

As the symbol above, it describes a nasalis according to IPA , mostly with vowels. In Middle Latin and Middle High German it is called ñ the double letter "nn". The ancient Greek perispomene can - among other things - be cut as a tilde. Today the tilde occurs in Spanish , Portuguese , Basque and Estonian among others (see Ñ ). As a tone sign over Vietnamese vowels, she describes the interrupted rising tone .

As an accent mark, the character - also read here as "snake" - is used in mathematics and physics for:

  • the naming of variables (similar to other special characters such as the roof ^), especially if the variable relates to a transformed (or subjected to similar processes) quantity. Example:
  • the identifier for approximate values: is an approximate value , a rounded value or an estimate for .

As a writing symbol

Mathematical operators and technical signs

The tilde is used as an independent symbol in mathematics and physics :

  • as a sign of proportional (for example, at a movement with constant speed the way proportional to the time , in symbols )
  • in elementary geometry for similar ( - similar triangles have the same angles )
  • in the statistics for has a random distribution like ( - X follows a normal distribution with expected value 5 and standard deviation 2)
  • two superimposed tildes ( ) as a sign for is approximately equal , or as the rounding sign (for example is ). There are also several other variations of the equals sign (≂, ≃, ≄, ≅, ≆, ≇, ≉, ≊, ≋) and comparison symbols (≲, ≴, ⋦, ≳, ≵, ⋧, ≾, ⋨, ≿, ⋩ ua) in the corresponding meaning.
  • the vertical tilde denotes the wreath product
  • in electrical engineering: the tilde, also twice one above the other, for alternating current or alternating voltage (also: "1 ~"); before or after the number "3" for three-phase current (approx. "3 ~"). In newer systems, the capital phi (Φ) is used analogously.
  • in logic the tilde is one of the signs for the negation.
  • In mathematics, the tilde is also used to denote equivalence relations.

Computer related uses:

  • In some programming languages, such as ML , the tilde stands for the unary minus .
  • In the programming language C and languages ​​derived from it (e.g. Java ) the tilde represents the one's complement or the unary NOT operator that inverts every bit.

As an abbreviation symbol

For abbreviation as an ellipsis or substitute symbol:

  • In dictionaries , encyclopedias or indices , the tilde is used as a substitute for the term listed.
  • Based on the mathematical double tilde ≈ "approximately equal" as a replacement for approximately .
  • As a genealogical symbol , the tilde stands for "baptized"

Computer related uses:

(Example: If your own user name is gisela, then stands ~for the directory /home/gisela- usually /homethe directory that contains the user directories);
  • one with a user name combined (approximately ~konrad) for the home directory of the specified user account (here "home directory of the account conrad ") as described in the file /etc/passwdadded
(Example: If ~konradspecified, it usually stands for the directory /home/konrad).
Accordingly , the command copiescp entwurf.txt ~ the file entwurf.txtinto its own user directory and the command copiescp entwurf.txt ~konrad the file into the user directory of konrad(authorization required).
  • With an appropriately configured web server , entering the URL http://www.example.com/~gisela/ in a web browser corresponds to the directory /home/gisela/public_htmlon that server; depending on the configuration, it then displays an index page located there or the directory content itself or an access denial notice.
  • In the UML class diagram , the visibility of operations and attributes within packages is shown with the tilde.
  • With a FAT32 file system ( Windows 95b or higher ), file names that do not correspond to the 8.3 format are shortened with tildes and entered in the FAT for downward compatibility , and the full file name is also saved
(Example: The file created under Windows 98 Rechnung1998060316.docis displayed under MS-DOS as Rechnu~1.doc- in some cases, even current media players only display the 8.3 names).

As a descriptor symbol

Computer related uses:

  • In the Perl scripting language , the tilde is used in an operator to introduce a regular expression .
  • The tilde is used to identify the destructor in C ++ . The destructor is defined like a normal method called tilde + class name.
  • in TeX and LaTeX : a non-breaking space (see below ).
  • Under Unix and Unix derivatives such as B. Linux marks a tilde at the end of the filename of a file as a backup file. The relevant files are usually hidden by the system.

As a punctuation mark

The tilde is sometimes incorrectly used for the symbol 〜 (U + 301C), which is similar in Japanese and other East Asian languages, called Nami dash ( 波 ダ ッ シ ュ , Nami dasshu , dt. "Wavy embed "). This symbol replaces the empties common in Latin writing systems (e.g., dash in English) or the half-stroke (e.g. for bis or dash in German). But it is also used as a fun variant of the Chōon , i.e. i.e., to indicate a humorous, chant-like tone.

As a letter

Latin letter Linearized tilde (Mann-Dalby form) .svg

The African reference alphabet (an expansion of the Latin alphabet for African languages conceived in 1982 ) contains a linearised tilde as the 32nd of its 60 letters, arranged alphabetically before the "n". It marks a preceding letter as nasal. By designing it as a full-fledged letter (which, like other lower-case letters, takes up the full x-height ), one of the design principles of the alphabet, namely not having to use diacritics, was taken into account. Since the alphabet unikameral is (that has no capital letters), none is Versalform specified. The letter is not included in any current spelling and is not included in Unicode (as of 2020, Unicode Version 13).

In Spanish there is next to the "n" a "ñ" which is pronounced "nj". In Portuguese there are the letters ã and õ, which mean that the corresponding vowels are pronounced nasally. In the double sounds ãe, ão and õe, the tilde stands for a nasalization of both vowels.

Legal meaning

If a policyholder gives the insurer the question of the exact mileage "100,000 km" for his vehicle that is suspected to be lost due to theft and places a tilde in front of this information, he makes it clear that it is an estimate. In such cases, deviations of up to 10% from the actual mileage of the vehicle do not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the policyholder's intention to deceive.

Presentation on the computer

Character sets

Diacritical marks

In the character sets of the ISO-8859 family, selected characters appear with tilde, which ISO 8859-1 containsÃã,Ññ,Õõ

Contains unicode

Punctuation marks and other characters

The character «~» occurs in the ASCII character set , it is at code number 126, Unicode U + 007E

Under Windows it is written with a German keyboard layout by combining the keys Alt Grand +(Switzerland:) ^. On Mac OS this character is created by the key combination Alt+ Nand on Linux by Alt Gr+ +; if you then press the space bar, a single tilde is generated, then typing a letter (e.g. n) results in the letter with tilde (ñ).

Other tilde characters:

TeX and LaTeX

TeX and LaTeX can represent any characters with a tilde. There are two different commands for this

  • in text mode for text typesetting generates \~aa ã
  • in math mode for the formula set generates \tilde athe formula

For the ASCII character ~ (small tilde, superscript), the command with LaTeX2e is recommended \textasciitilde- in plain TeX and LaTeX2.09 it must also be \~{}rewritten. The large tilde ~, on the other hand, is \simencoded with (in mathematical mode).

The tilde character itself is also a command in LaTeX: It creates a non-breaking space .


With the German standard keyboard layout T2 , the character is entered as Alt Gr+ i. This combination acts as a dead key , i.e. i.e., must be entered before the basic letter.

With the German Swiss standard keyboard layout, the character is entered as Alt+ `. To confirm this action, a space (or ) must be pressed. space

With the German standard keyboard layout under macOS , the character is entered with alt+ n. To confirm this action, a space (or ) must be pressed. space

Windows and Linux console input brings the tilde with alt+126

Web links

Wiktionary: Tilde  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. DIN 5008 : 2020-03
  2. a b Unicode Character 'COMBINING TILDE' (U + 0303) , fileformat.info
  3. a b Unicode Character 'COMBINING TILDE BELOW' (U + 0330) , fileformat.info
  4. a b Unicode Character 'COMBINING TILDE OVERLAY' (U + 0334) , fileformat.info
  5. a b DIN 1302 General mathematical symbols and terms
  6. Peter Acklam and Eric Weisstein: Tilde . In: MathWorld (English).
  7. Michael Mann, David Dalby, A Thesaurus of African Languages, London 1987, ISBN 0-905450-24-8 , p. 207 (table of the alphabet), p. 210 (explanation)
  8. OLG Dresden, judgment of 11.6.2019 - 4 U 1399/18. In: Journal for Damage Law. 10/19, p. 569
  9. Unicode character 'SMALL TILDE' (U + 02DC) , fileformat.info
  10. Unicode Character 'COMBINING NOT TILDE ABOVE' (U + 034A) , fileformat.info
  11. Unicode Character 'COMBINING VERTICAL TILDE' (U + 033E) , fileformat.info
  12. Unicode Character 'COMBINING DOUBLE TILDE' (U + 0360) , fileformat.info
  13. Unicode character 'TILDE' (U + 007E) , fileformat.info
  14. Unicode Character 'TILDE OPERATOR' (U + 223C) , fileformat.info