definitions
• synonyms

# catenary

[kat-n-er-ee; especially British kuh-tee-nuh-ree]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural cat·e·nar·ies.
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 = kcosh(x/k).
2. (in electric railroads) the cable, running above the track, from which the trolley wire is suspended.
1. of, relating to, or resembling a catenary.
2. of or relating to a chain or linked series.

## Origin of .css-1fxfie5{font-size:22px;}@media (max-width:768px){.css-1fxfie5{font-size:18px;margin:0 10px 10px 0;word-break:break-all;word-wrap:break-word;-webkit-hyphens:auto;-moz-hyphens:auto;-ms-hyphens:auto;hyphens:auto;line-height:22px;}}catenary

1780–90; < Latin catēnārius relating to a chain, equivalent to catēn(a) a chain + -ārius -ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

## Examples from the Web for catenary

### Historical Examples

• #### The versed sine, or deflection of the middle of the catenary, was 50 feet.

The life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Civil Engineer

Isambard Brunel

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

Cornish Characters

S. Baring-Gould

• #### Not at all: the catenary appears actually every time that weight and flexibility act in concert.

British Dictionary definitions for catenary

# catenary

noun plural -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
1. 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 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012