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

  • noun A backward virgule ( \).

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

  • noun The punctuation mark \.
  • noun computing, rare Used erroneously in reference to, or in reading out, the ordinary slash, that is, the punctuation mark /.
  • verb computing, transitive To escape (a metacharacter) by prepending a backslash that serves as an escape character, thereby forming an escape sequence.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

back +‎ slash, because it is sloped back against the direction of writing, in contrast to the common slash / ("slash, solidus, oblique, forward slash").


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