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Definition: forward slash

The forward slash (or simply slash) character (/) is the divide symbol in programming and on calculator keyboards. For example, 10 / 7 means 10 divided by 7. The slash is also often used in command line syntax to indicate a switch. For example, in the DOS/Windows Xcopy statement xcopy *.* d: /s, the /s is a switch that tells the program to copy all subfolders. In Unix paths, which have become popular due to Internet addresses, the slash separates the elements of the path as in www.company.com/news/previous/abc.html.

It Used to Be Just a Slash
Before computers became ubiquitous, the forward slash was simply a "slash." Since the days of DOS, which introduced the horrid backslash, many people refer to a regular slash as a forward slash to avoid confusion. See backslash.