# What is the etymology of multiplication and division operators?

When I was studying mathematics in school, we used to have "x"(cross) as multiplication operator. Consequently, "⋅"(dot) became the multiplication operator, then came "*"(asterick).

Similarly for division I had seen: ÷, / and — (its not minus-read long dash) operators

But I really have no idea of why so much overriding for the same operators. Is there any specific reason of using specific operator for specific operations-for example, fractions generally use — division operator (I have seen ÷ rarely to be used to depict fraction)

Also, I have not seen addition and subtraction operators to be changing so drastically with contexts?

• see here – Andres Mejia Feb 25 '17 at 10:17
• See Earliest Uses of Symbols of Operation for detailed informations about the origins of the symbols for multiplication and division. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Feb 25 '17 at 10:18
• @AndresMejia Your link does answer a bit for division operator..If you find any for multiplication then please share that too :) – Karan Desai Feb 25 '17 at 10:20
• @MauroALLEGRANZA your link is great-can you summarize here as answer. I will happily accept it. (Links can die in future) – Karan Desai Feb 25 '17 at 10:20
• The site linked is a useful on-line summary of the fundamental book : Florian Cajori, A History of Mathematical Notations, Dover (original ed 1928). See also here. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Feb 25 '17 at 10:29