LaTeX Math Symbols – A glossary

An overview of commonly used math symbols in LaTeX

Since LaTeX offers a large amount of features, it’s hard to remember all commands. Even though commands follow a logical naming scheme, you will probably need a table for the most common math symbols at some point. I don’t want to provide a complete list of LaTeX symbols on this website. The ctan already provides a huge list with currently 5913 symbols, which you can download hereOpens in a new tab.. Instead I’m trying to limit this list to the most common math symbols and commands. If you think I forgot some very important basic function or symbol here, please let me know.

List of common \(\LaTeX\) math symbols

  1. Trigonometric functions
  2. Integrals
  3. Matrices
  4. Dots
  5. Miscellaneous functions

Trigonometric functions

The symbols for trigonometric functions have a very straightforward naming scheme. Just precede the common abbreviations with a backslash \ and put your variables in braces.

Name Symbol Command
Sine \(\sin x\) \sin x
Cosine \(\cos x\) \cos x
Tangent \(\tan x \) \tan x 
Cotangent \(\cot x\) \cot x 
Secant \(\sec x\) \sec x 
Cosecant \(\csc x\) \csc x


LaTeX offers math symbols for various kinds of integrals out of the box. Note that you can set the integral boundaries by using the underscore _ and circumflex ^ symbol as seen below.

Name Symbol Command
Indefinite integral \(\int f(x) dx\) \int f(x) dx
Definite integral \(\int_a^b f(x) x\) \int_a^b f(x) x
Domain integral \(\int_D f(x) dx\) \int_D f(x) dx
Double integral \(\iint f(x,y) dx dy\) \iint f(x,y) dx dy
Triple integral \(\iiint f(x,y,z) dx dy dz\) \iiint f(x,y,z) dx dy dz
Closed curve integral \(\oint_C F ds\) \oint_C F ds


Of course LaTeX is able to typeset matrices as well. For this purpose LaTeX offers the following environments. Columns are separated with ampersand & and rows with a double backslash \\ (the linebreak command). Make sure that the number of ampersands is the same for every row.

Name Symbol Command
Matrix \(\begin{matrix}1&0\\1&0\end{matrix}\)



bMatrix \(\begin{bmatrix}1&0\\1&0\end{bmatrix}\)



pMatrix \(\begin{pmatrix}1&0\\1&0\end{pmatrix}\)



vMatrix \(\begin{vmatrix}1&0\\1&0\end{vmatrix}\)



Determinant \(\det{\begin{vmatrix}1&0\\1&0\end{vmatrix}}\)



If you want to typeset very large matrices, the following commands can become in handy as well.


The most common dot symbols used in math notation are available in LaTeX as well.

Name Symbol Command
Middot / Centered dot \(\cdot\) \cdot
Horizontal Dots / Centered dots \(\cdots\) \cdots
Vertical Dots \(\vdots\) \vdots

Diagonal Dots

\(\ddots\) \ddots

Lower Dots




Example: \(\begin{bmatrix}1 & 0 & \cdots & 0\\1 & 0 & \cdots & 0\\\vdots & \vdots & \ddots & \vdots \\1 & 0 & 0 & 0\end{bmatrix}\)


1 & 0 & \cdots & 0\\

1 & 0 & \cdots & 0\\

\vdots & \vdots & \ddots & \vdots \\

1 & 0 & 0 & 0


Miscellaneous functions

Here are some more basic functions which don’t fit in the categories mentioned above.

Name Symbol Command
Logarithmic Function / Logarithm \(\log{x}\) \log{x}
Logarithm (base a) \(\log_a{b}\) \log_a{b}
Square root function / Square root \(\sqrt{x}\) \sqrtx}
n-th root function / n-th root \(\sqrt[n]{x}\) \sqrt[n]{x}
Rational function / Fraction \(\frac{u(x)}{v(x)}\) \frac{u(x)}{v(x)}