Tilde

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What Does Tilde Mean?

The tilde (~) is a character in the standard ASCII character set that is provided on a conventional computer keyboard and is used in both writing and computer programming. It corresponds to ASCII code 126.

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The tilde is also sometimes known as the twiddle.

Techopedia Explains Tilde

The tilde has several uses. In language, it can serve as a modifier for specific letters of the alphabet. In mathematics, the tilde often represents approximation, especially when used in duplicate, and is sometimes called the "equivalency sign." In regular expressions, the tilde is used as an operator in pattern matching, and in C programming, it is used as a bitwise operator representing a unary negation (i.e., "bitwise NOT").

The tilde is one of the most versatile characters on the keyboard. In addition to the above uses, it is also sometimes used to shorten long file names in operating systems. It can be seen either as something that approximates two variables or as something that provides a contrast between them.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.