Also found in: Wikipedia.
em dash vs. en dash
There are two similar but distinct punctuation marks called dashes: the en dash ( – ) and the em dash ( — ). In appearance, an en dash is slightly longer than a hyphen ( - ), approximately the width of a capital N, while an em dash is slightly longer than an en dash, approximately the width of a capital M (hence their names).
When we refer to dashes, we are usually referring to em dashes, as they are the more common punctuation mark of the two. However, it’s important to know the different ways that each mark is used.
en·dashor en dash (ĕn′dăsh′)
A symbol ( - ) used in writing or printing to connect continuing or inclusive numbers or to connect elements of a compound adjective when either of the elements is an open compound, as 1880-1945 or Princeton-New York trains.
[From its being the width of an n in printing.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
en dash(ˈɛnˌdæʃ) or
(Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) printing a dash (–) one en long
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
a dash one en long.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
See also related terms for punctuation.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.