|dash (– and —)|
| Definition -
A horizontal punctuation mark of varying length that is used, for example, to indicate pauses or breaks in a sentence and omissions of words or letters.
1. There are several types, e.g. the em dash, the en dash, the figure dash, and the quotation dash.
Oxford English Dictionary - The term's first citation in this sense is from 1824:
"The Dash, though often used improperly…may be introduced with propriety, where the sentence breaks off abruptly…A dash following a stop, denotes that the pause is to be greater than if the stop were alone."
(L. Murray Eng. Gram. (ed. 5) I. 406)