Also found in: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


The symbol (#).

[Coined in the 1960s by researchers at Bell Telephone Laboratories : octo- (probably in reference to the eight endpoints of the lines in the symbol) + -thorpe (perhaps from thorp, in reference to the resemblance of the symbol to a village surrounded by fields, or after James Francis Thorpebecause one of the researchers was an advocate of the restoration of Thorpe's Olympic medals).]
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.


- The pound key on a keyboard or keypad is technically an octothorpe.
See also related terms for keyboard.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Sometimes used to indicate weight, how is an octothorpe better known as?
To know the answer, let's study history a bit, beginning with the octothorpe.
Houston (blogger, Edinburgh) combines an interesting history of punctuation marks, such as the pilcrow, octothorpe, and ampersand, with setting them in their context, not only within the relatively small world of typesetting but in their overall milieu.
Houston has infused a seemingly mundane subject with considerable verve & erudition, inspiring us to pepper these pages with the en dash, em dash, pilcrow, interrobang, circumflex, manicule, virgule (aka solidus), guillemet, asterisk, dagger, double dagger, ellipsis, hedera (aka fleuron), ampersand, and octothorpe (aka hashtag).
The pound key (#) on the keyboard is called an OCTOTHORPE.
Usually regarded as a sign for a number, the correct term for the # symbol is an octothorpe.
The octothorpe that signifies "insert space." The backwards capital P of "begin new paragraph." The carets fulcruming sentences, adding commas or apostrophes or quotation marks.