What Does Backslash Mean?

A backslash () is a symbol or typographical mark used in computer and computing applications to perform specific operations and tasks. It is part of the ASCII characters set and is mainly used in computer programming and operating system commands.


Backslash is also known as reverse slash, slosh, backslant, backslat, backwhack, bash, escape, hack, reverse slant, reversed virgule and reverse solidus.

Techopedia Explains Backslash

Backslash was initially introduced by Bob Bemer in ASCII to represent the Boolean operators AND as "/" and OR as "/". In programming languages, it has various different uses. In C and Perl programming languages, for example, it is used as an escape character, to introduce special characters within Haskell and as a line delimiter in general. In operating systems, backslash is used to define and separate folders and directories when writing/passing commands.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…