Plus-on-up and minus-on-down

Plus-Minus. Means a quantity of same magnitude can have either a positive or a negative value. As commonly found in square roots such as

$$\sqrt[2]{625}= +-25$$.

Here is an Wikipedia SVG-example of a basic trigonometry formula:

sin theta equals to plusminus Sqrt over whole 1 minus cos square theta.

How to render it using MathJax?



Also I've seen use of minus-plus, i.e. minus-plus.

I can't remember specific example but it was probably in some chemistry related text, in a situation; two variables (say $x$ and $y$) each have positive and negative value. But if $x$ is positive then $y$ is negative, and if $x$ is negative then $y$ is positive.

Don't know whether the second one is standard or not; but if the second-one is standard or allowed in MathJax; how to use it in MathJax formatting??


PS. I've gone through MathJax basic tutorial and quick reference and also seen Google but could not find.

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ \pm and \mp $\endgroup$ Commented May 21, 2017 at 12:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Great. You should publish it as answer and I'm accepting it. $\endgroup$
    – user379641
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielFischer: Sorry didn't see your comment before I posted my answer $\endgroup$
    – Thomas
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 12:41
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It is in the tutorial, point 12. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ @quid Can't find there. Mentioned in PostScript. $\endgroup$
    – user379641
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 12:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Accepted as duplicate "that solved my purpose". But It is quite hard to find there. it has been also mixed up with division sign. $\endgroup$
    – user379641
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 12:56
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It's alright you asked the question. I agree it's not that easy to find there. I still feel it should be closed as dupe for systematic reasons. Down the road your Q will still serve as useful sign-post for future user having had the same problem. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 13:05
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Detextify is helpful for this and similar questions. $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2017 at 12:48

1 Answer 1


You can use $$ \pm $$ or $$ \mp $$ That is