Section sign

Section sign

The section sign (Unicode U+00A7 § SECTION SIGN, HTML §, TeX \S), also informally known as the silcrow, is a typographical character used mainly to refer to a particular section of a document, such as a legal code.[1] It is also called "double S" and "sectional symbol".[2]


The likely origin of the section sign is the digraph formed by the combination of two S glyphs (from the Latin signum sectiōnis).

When duplicated, as §§, it is read as the plural "sections" (e.g. "§§ 13–21"), much as "pp." (pages) is the plural of "p."


It is frequently used along with the pilcrow (¶), or paragraph sign. Like the dagger (†) and double dagger (‡), it is also sometimes used to link to a footnote where the asterisk (*) is already in use on a given page.

It is common practice to follow the section sign with a non-breaking space, just before the actual section being cited.[1]

In some European countries, the section sign is widely understood as a symbol of the justice system, in much the same way the Rod of Asclepius is used to represent medicine. For example, it is used in the logo of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Justice.

See also


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