It came to my attention that the term "caret" refers specifically to the inversely-oriented variant of this symbol, i.e., upward pointing.

Oddly enough, searching caret didn't readily reveal any information in regards to it's inverted form; the closest thing I came across was the vel, but this appears to be unrelated.

Does anyone know what the correct vernacular name is for this symbol?

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    I wouldn't consider this a character in any orientation. It is a symbol representing a user interface feature and has no linguistic purpose. We might find it amongst a unicode font as a symbol that can be used but it is not a letter used for languages that I know of. One unicode listing simply has it as "down arrowhead" compart.com/en/unicode/U+2304
    – Mokubai
    Commented May 22 at 10:20
  • @mokubai But there must be some nomenclatural label that is used to reference said symbol and its states, isn't there? Or is it purely a graphical element/icon that just happens to be ubiquitously used in this functional context?
    – Arctiic
    Commented May 22 at 10:33
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    Maybe ask on User Experience Stack Exchange?
    – DavidPostill
    Commented May 22 at 10:53
  • To be honest that is heading more into the realms of UI/UX and probably depends a lot on the context of where you see it. For a list of things some call it an "expandable listview" ux.stackexchange.com/questions/58299/… what you have might be an "expandable or collapsible textbox" not everything has a punchy name like a "glimbet" or a "hoxblo".
    – Mokubai
    Commented May 22 at 11:12
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    Clearly it's an upwards Pac-Man!
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented May 23 at 14:15

5 Answers 5


Drop down arrow is also a commonly used terminology.

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    In terms of context the usage that includes the name for this UI component would be "Click the down arrow to expand the selection".
    – Boots
    Commented May 24 at 7:44

'Chevron' is a common generic term. I often see it used both for horizontal and vertical symbols (e.g. angle brackets sometimes fall under that term as well).


Regardless of direction, "caret" also specifically refers to a character positioned like an accent (at around the top of the line). If it is center-aligned (in-line), it's not really a caret.

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    For me, "Chevron" is too generic, and instantly makes me think of an arrow pointing in the opposite direction, particularly the one painted on roads. For me, this is a "downwards (pointing) arrow".
    – MikeB
    Commented May 23 at 12:56
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    @MikeB for me symbol would need both a "shaft" and a "tip/head" to be considered an "arrow".
    – Nicholas
    Commented May 23 at 15:29
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    A caret or circumflex does not have to be positioned as a diacritic or “at around the top of the line” – indeed, the origin of the word is from the proofreader’s caret (from Latin caret ‘is missing’, the sign being used to indicate that something is missing in the text), and this is always placed beneath the line, in between characters or words. The non-combining character often used for exponentiation (^) hangs somewhere above the baseline, but its exact position depends on the font – sometimes it’s at cap weight, sometimes it’s closer to being centre-aligned. Commented May 23 at 23:53
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    @Nicholas I'm going by function as much as anything. However if we look at the Unicode spec, it is: "Arrowhead, Down ⌄" and I reckon that it would be pretty normal to abbreviate that to "down arrow"
    – MikeB
    Commented May 24 at 6:56
  • 1
    @MikeB "down arrow" is U+2193 (8595) in Unicode. You cannot simply abbreviate official designations. Especially not if the abbreviation means something else. Commented May 24 at 8:23

(Thanks to @MikeB for the comment)
It's most likely to be "down arrowhead": https://util.unicode.org/UnicodeJsps/character.jsp?a=2304

Other Symbol
id: allowed
confuse: none

Previously I thought that it looks like it's known as "modifier letter down arrowhead" in unicode.

From https://util.unicode.org/UnicodeJsps/character.jsp?a=02C5

Modifier Symbol
id: allowed
confuse: none

(I don't know why they both have "confuse: none" - because I'm quite confused)


Caron ˇ

In linguistics it would be a Caron: ˇ which is mostly used as a diacritic on other letters, but standalone it's Unicode U+02C7.

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    I don't think it's the Caron. It's a full-height character and I think it's U+02C5 - "modifier letter down arrowhead"
    – Aaron F
    Commented May 23 at 23:07
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    Just because it looks like a Caron doesn't mean that it is, any more than a minus-sign is the same as a hyphen.
    – MikeB
    Commented May 24 at 6:58
  • Plus, in linguistics it's called an háček. Typographers and graphical designers might call it a caron
    – AkselA
    Commented May 25 at 14:25
  • That doesn't end in a point, it looks like a truncated version of the one in the OP so it isn't the same.
    – terdon
    Commented May 25 at 15:42

It is called a "down arrow" :)

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    Not really an arrow. Boomerang maybe? Commented May 23 at 19:09
  • 4
    Someone else already gave this answer. When looking at questions you may have an answer to, do not post an answer if it is largely the same as an existing answer. Commented May 23 at 20:33
  • @music2myear i agree, and if you look you'll see my answer is not the same as any other answer (you are a genius?)
    – fabspro
    Commented May 27 at 3:46

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