This question is about punctuation. There are three ways that the dot (.) can be used.

Dots can be single, which ends a declarative statement and has other uses. (period) Dots can be triple, which indicate a continuing list or trailing off... (elipsis) And double.. (??)

Can you explain the name and meaning of the double dot..

  • 1
    As far as I know, this is just a variant way of expressing ellipsis. There is no magic about three: it's just a convention.
    – Colin Fine
    Jul 7, 2020 at 16:13
  • 3
    Did you ever see two dots punctuation in a professional publication? Where?
    – The Photon
    Jul 7, 2020 at 16:15
  • The LaTeX command for it is \hdotdot which suggests it has no special meaning in mathematics.
    – mdewey
    Jul 7, 2020 at 16:26
  • Hard to prove, but I suspect that two dots is a simple typo, either an accidental additional full-stop or a 'failed' ellipsis. Incidentally, and strictly speaking, the triple-dot is a single character, but it almost always starts life as three full-stops.
    – MikeB
    Jul 7, 2020 at 16:49
  • @mdewey It's non-standard if it is LaTeX, at least, it's not supported on our implementation of MathJax. It should be, of course, it's used for Wirth interval notation, which I can't believe is not mainstream. Jul 7, 2020 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


I am not aware of any generally accepted meaning for two dots. As you say, one dot is a period, which marks the end of a sentence or an abbreviation, and three dots is an ellipsis, which indicates that text has been omitted, or a long pause in speech. But two dots has no specific meaning.

If you saw two dots somewhere, my guess is that it's a typo: The person meant to put a period and accidentally doubled it, or they meant to put an ellipsis and accidentally left off one of the dots.

Perhaps it has some recognized meaning in some special context. You'd have to point us to an example.

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