ampersand

[am-per-sand, am-per-sand]
noun
a character or symbol (& or ) for and : Smith & Jones, Inc.

Origin:
1820–30; contraction of and per se and literally, (the symbol) & by itself (stands for) and; see per se

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
ampersand (ˈæmpəˌsænd)
 
n
the character (&), meaning and: John Brown & Co
 
[C19: shortened from and per se and, that is, the symbol & by itself (represents) and]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

ampersand
1837, contraction of and per se and, meaning "(the character) '&' by itself is 'and' " (a hybrid phrase, partly in Latin, partly in English). The symbol is based on the L. word et "and," and comes from an old Roman system of shorthand signs (ligatures), attested in Pompeiian graffiti, but not (as sometimes
stated) from the Tironian Notes, which was a different form of shorthand, probably invented by Cicero's companion Marcus Tullius Tiro, which used a different symbol, something like a reversed capital gamma, to indicate et. This Tironian symbol was maintained by some medieval scribes, including Anglo-Saxon chroniclers, who sprinkled their works with a symbol like a numeral 7 to indicate the word and. In old schoolbooks the ampersand was printed at the end of the alphabet and thus by 1880s had acquired a slang sense of "posterior, rear end, hindquarters."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
ampersand [(am-puhr-sand)]

A symbol for and (&), as in Dun & Bradstreet.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

ampersand definition

character
"&" ASCII character 38.
Common names: ITU-T, INTERCAL: ampersand; amper; and. Rare: address (from C); reference (from C++); bitand; background (from sh); pretzel; amp.
A common symbol for "and", used as the "address of" operator in C, the "reference" operator in C++ and a bitwise AND operator in several programming languages.
UNIX shells use the character to indicate that a task should be run in the background.
The ampersand is a ligature (combination) of the cursive letters "e" and "t", invented in 63 BC by Marcus Tirus [Tiro?] as shorthand for the Latin word for "and", "et".
The word ampersand is a conflation (combination) of "and, per se and". Per se means "by itself", and so the phrase translates to "&, standing by itself, means 'and'". This was at the end of the alphabet as it was recited by children in old English schools. The words ran together and were associated with "&". The "ampersand" spelling dates from 1837.
Take our word for it (http://takeourword.com/Issue010.html).
(2000-10-28)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Tiro has a nifty claim to fame: he invented the ampersand.
To do this, precede the name with an ampersand in the calling sequence.
There are three basic types of modules: alias modules, regular modules, and
  ampersand modules.
In an ampersand puzzle, one of the two words in a series of ampersand pairs is
  missing.
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