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How does one insert a backslash or a tilde into LaTeX?

I have tried using \text{\~{}} to draw a tilde in math mode. However, this only produces a superscript tilde.

I have looked around at many pages such as this one: http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Wiki/index.php/LaTeX:Symbols

and surprisingly, I can't find where to draw a tilde in math mode (not under or above a character - just a single tilde character). If I just use ~, then nothing appears.

marked as duplicate by Werner, Gonzalo Medina, user11232, doncherry, Peter Grill Oct 3 '12 at 23:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 55 down vote accepted
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{amssymb}

\begin{document}
$\backsim\ \sim\ \thicksim$
\end{document}

enter image description here

  • What does "sim" stands for? This is a short for what? – rkioji Nov 14 at 13:25

Is \sim an option for you? It looks like a tilde.

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