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# catenary

[kat-n-er-ee; especially British kuh-tee-nuh-ree] /ˈkæt nˌɛr i; especially British kəˈti nə ri/
noun, plural catenaries.
1.
Mathematics. the curve assumed approximately by a heavy uniform cord or chain hanging freely from two points not in the same vertical line. Equation: y = k cos h (x / k).
2.
(in electric railroads) the cable, running above the track, from which the trolley wire is suspended.
3.
of, relating to, or resembling a catenary.
4.
of or relating to a chain or linked series.
Origin of catenary
1780-1790
1780-90; < Latin catēnārius relating to a chain, equivalent to catēn(a) a chain + -ārius -ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for catenary
Historical Examples
• The versed sine, or deflection of the middle of the catenary, was 50 feet.

Isambard Brunel
• The surface formed by revolving the catenary about its directrix is named the alysseide.

• The only surface of revolution having this property is the catenoid formed by the revolution of a catenary about its directrix.

• One of the most laborious and practically useful works of Giddy was a treatise on the properties of the catenary Curve.

S. Baring-Gould
• Not at all: the catenary appears actually every time that weight and flexibility act in concert.

J. Henri Fabre
British Dictionary definitions for catenary

## catenary

/kəˈtiːnərɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
the curve assumed by a heavy uniform flexible cord hanging freely from two points. When symmetrical about the y-axis and intersecting it at y = a, the equation is y = a cosh x/a
2.
the hanging cable between pylons along a railway track, from which the trolley wire is suspended
3.
of, resembling, relating to, or constructed using a catenary or suspended chain
Word Origin
C18: from Latin catēnārius relating to a chain
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 catenary

1872, from Latin catenarius "relating to a chain," from catenanus "chained, fettered," from catena "chain, fetter, shackle" (see chain (n.)). As a noun from 1788 in mathematics. Related: Catenarian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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### Word Value for catenary

13
14
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