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# abscissa

[ab-sis-uh] /æbˈsɪs ə/
noun, plural abscissas, abscissae
[ab-sis-ee] /æbˈsɪs i/ (Show IPA).
Mathematics.
1.
(in plane Cartesian coordinates) the x-coordinate of a point: its distance from the y-axis measured parallel to the x-axis.
Compare ordinate.
Origin of abscissa
1690-1700
1690-1700; feminine of Latin abscissus (past participle of abscindere to abscind)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for abscissa
Historical Examples
• The abscissa of such a curve is the reading of the instrument to be corrected.

• To provide for such cases the curve is drawn as if it never touched the abscissa.

• A curve is thus obtained, the ordinate representing growth elongation and the abscissa the time.

• A Thermo-crescent Curve is thus obtained, the ordinate of which represents increment of growth, and the abscissa, the time.

• As the temperature is made to rise one degree per minute, the abscissa also represents rise of temperature (Fig. 66).

• The ordinate of the curve represents the intensity of response, and the abscissa the time (fig. 1).

• The ordinate in these curves represents the E.M. variation, and the abscissa the time.

• Thus we find the curve at first slightly convex, then straight and ascending, and lastly, concave to the abscissa (fig. 30).

• The curve as a whole becomes, first slightly convex to the abscissa, then straight and ascending, and lastly concave.

• The abscissa and the ordinate do not measure commensurable units.

Thorstein Veblen
British Dictionary definitions for abscissa

## abscissa

/æbˈsɪsə/
noun (pl) -scissas, -scissae (-ˈsɪsiː)
1.
the horizontal or x-coordinate of a point in a two-dimensional system of Cartesian coordinates. It is the distance from the y-axis measured parallel to the x-axis Compare ordinate
Word Origin
C17: New Latin, originally linea abscissa a cut-off line
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abscissa
n.

1690s, from Latin abscissa (linea) "(a line) cut off," from fem. past participle of abscindere "to cut off," from ab- "off, away" (see ab-) + scindere "to cut" (see shed (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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abscissa in Science
 abscissa   (āb-sĭs'ə)    Plural abscissas or abscissae (āb-sĭs'ē)The distance of a point from the y-axis on a graph in the Cartesian coordinate system. It is measured parallel to the x-axis. For example, a point having coordinates (2,3) has 2 as its abscissa. Compare ordinate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary