from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The character or sign (&) representing the word and.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A name formerly in use for the character & or & (also called short and), which is formed by combining the letters of the Latin et, and, and which is commonly placed at the end of the alphabet in primers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A word used to describe the character �, �, or &.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The symbol "&".

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a punctuation mark (&) used to represent conjunction (and)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Alteration of and per se and, & (the sign) by itself (means) and.]


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  • The ampersand is typically used to save time and space.

    The curious land of the ampersand 2009

  • I think I called the ampersand “the squiggly and-thing” or something very similar before I discovered its name.

    The curious land of the ampersand 2009

  • [Transcriber's Note: The "|" s below are my best rendition in plain ASCII of a Saxon ampersand, which is a long vertical bar with a short horizontal bar at the top, pointing to the left.] + ORM · GAMAL · SVNA · BOHTE · SC [= S] [+ ORM · GAMAL · SUNA · BOHTE · SANCTUS]

    The Evolution of an English Town Gordon Home 1923

  • Either way, we think the ampersand is a ligature for

    SimpleBits 2009

  • The single text operator (the so-called ampersand) is used in formulas to join together two or more text entries (an operation with the highfalutin 'name concatenation).

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows Elifa 2009

  • Go to and search for "ampersand" for lots of examples of the extreme variation in style of this particular symbol.

    OR... Jen 2009

  • I'd always wondered about the source of the word "ampersand", but never got around to looking it up.

    Punctuation is Awesome lili 2007

  • Schwartz & Wade are relatively easy when you consider that one is named Schwartz and one is named Wade though they pulled a third person onto the stage with them this season, so I guess I'll have to refer to that person as "ampersand".

    Random House Summer 2007 Preview fusenumber8 2007

  • Its like that conversation that I had with Roger a while back, boys who know what an "ampersand" is - I totally think is hot.

    moschikat Diary Entry moschikat 2004

  • To add another forum to ignore just use double "ampersand" as shown above. 2009


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  • This word has a splendid derivation.

    December 11, 2006

  • Eschew ampersands & abbreviation, etc.

    January 25, 2007

  • I agree that ampersands are annoying in text, and generally stylebooks say to convert them to "and", but it's easy to see why people like them so much. They're fun! & What a lovely mark – from the Latin "et"! And sometimes so very elegant in certain fonts. In older books you can see &c. for "etc."

    December 2, 2007

  • There is nothing, simply nothing, better than messing about with ampersands. I love this character nearly as much as I love the letter Q.

    April 11, 2008

  • I just learnt there's an Ampersand weblog.

    May 16, 2008

  • Symbol representing the word "and"; it is often used in company names.

    February 6, 2009

  • "A word used to describe the character �, �, or &."

    April 29, 2011

  • "When the ampersand first came to light a century after Cicero had delivered the Catiline Orations, it emphatically did not issue from the grandees of the Roman establishment; instead, it came quite literally straight from the streets. If the Tironian et was Tiro’s brainchild, the ampersand was an orphan: its creator is not known, and the closest it comes to a parent is the anonymous first century graffiti artist who scrawled it hastily across a Pompeiian wall." -- from the Shady Characters blog.

    June 12, 2011

  • Also see I dislike ampersands.

    June 12, 2011

  • I really, really, really, really, really love this word.

    September 3, 2011

  • I know what you mean. History, typography and function aside, there’s something about the sound of it. It makes me want to eat scampi sandwiches in a Southampton forest of sandalwood and palissander with a Sandemanian Sandinista campesino sandhiller champertor named Alessandra Amanda Sandusky Sanderson, then amble a sandstone path unhampered by sandburs through a campestral garden of rampe, sandwort, icosandria, sandberry, and pachysandra. When dampness champs our sandals we’ll swim like champion lampreys to a sandaliform sandbar, and damply scamper onto the ample sand. Sanderlings, sandgrouse and sandpipers will abandon as we expand and tamp a sandcastle, amplify examples of sandhi and anacamptic blandiloquence, and watch the amber night turn lampyridine, not to decamp until a pampero sandstorm (or rampant stampeding tamanduas) demand.

    September 3, 2011

  • "And per se and." It's the per se that gets me. They are--by their self-described nature--awesome.

    September 4, 2011

  • Anparsy (noun) - (1) Boys, in repeating their alphabet, would say ". . . X, Y, Z, anparsy." They did not know what it meant, but pointed in their spelling books to the character &, also termed parsy-and.

    --M.C.F. Morris's Yorkshire Folk-Talk, 1892

    (2) Anpasty, another name for ampersand. It means and past y.

    --Rev. Robert Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia, 1830

    – from a daily calendar version of “Forgotten English”, Jeffrey Kacirk

    March 29, 2013

  • Re: my list of three-part portmanteaus (, ampersand is made of three or four parts, depending on how you count them. I'm putting it on the list, with an awareness that it's a weak member of the list.

    and+per se+and or and+per+se+and

    November 10, 2015