The division symbol, also known as obelus. The symbol takes the shape of a short horizontal hyphen with a dot above and another one below. It is used to indicate the mathematical operation "division," and that's why it is called the division sign.

The word obelus (sharpened stick) have the same root of the Greek word "obelisk." It is believed that division sign was first used in mathematics in 1659 by Johan Rahn in algebra. Before this history, the obelus was used as a sign for subtraction. The division sign was historically used to mark suspicious or corrupt passages in a text.