noun Printing.
a short oblique stroke (/) between two words indicating that whichever is appropriate may be chosen to complete the sense of the text in which they occur: The defendant and/or his/her attorney must appear in court.
a dividing line, as in dates, fractions, a run-in passage of poetry to show verse division, etc.: 3/21/27; 3/4; Sweetest love I do not go/For weariness of thee.
Also called diagonal, separatrix, shilling mark, slant, slash, solidus; especially British, stroke.

1830–40; < French virgule comma, little rod < Latin virgula; see virgulate Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
virgule (ˈvɜːɡjuːl)
printing another name for solidus
[C19: from French: comma, from Latin virgula a little rod, from virga rod]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Main Entry:  virgule
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  See forward slash's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin & History

thin sloping line, used as a comma in medieval MSS, 1837, from Fr. virgule, from L. virgula "punctuation mark," lit. "little twig," dim. of virga "shoot, rod, stick." The word had been borrowed in its L. form in 1728.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

virgule definition

Rare, and ambiguous: slash or comma.
"Virgule" (or rather, Latin "virgula", meaning "little rod" or, vividly enough, "little penis") was the name of a punctuation character shaped like a small slash and used in the Latin writing system much like a modern comma -- hence the ambiguity of this term in modern English.
Compare French "virgule" and Italian "virgola", meaning "comma" (not "slash"); Italian "doppia virgola" and "virgoletta", both meaning "double quote".

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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