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[trig-uh-nom-i-tree] /ˌtrɪg əˈnɒm ɪ tri/
the branch of mathematics that deals with the relations between the sides and angles of plane or spherical triangles, and the calculations based on them.
Origin of trigonometry
1605-15; < New Latin trigōnometria; see trigon, -o-, -metry
Related forms
[trig-uh-nuh-me-trik] /ˌtrɪg ə nəˈmɛ trɪk/ (Show IPA),
trigonometrical, adjective
trigonometrically, adverb
nontrigonometric, adjective
nontrigonometrical, adjective
nontrigonometrically, adverb
untrigonometric, adjective
untrigonometrical, adjective
untrigonometrically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for trigonometry
Historical Examples
  • It signifies an enormous number of things, from pot-hooks to trigonometry.

    The Curse of Education Harold E. Gorst
  • This is not because the details of trigonometry are all needed in physics.

    College Teaching Paul Klapper
  • I worked off a year's trigonometry that summer, and began Virgil alone.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
  • They found them deficient in trigonometry and canned them off the team.

    At Good Old Siwash George Fitch
  • I never saw him but during a fortnight, when I took it into my head to do trigonometry.

    Rowlandson's Oxford A. Hamilton Gibbs
  • So are you—of words, blurted out Sid Henderson, as he leafed his trigonometry.

    For the Honor of Randall Lester Chadwick
  • He also edited a text-book on trigonometry for the use of the cadets.

  • He was undecided between it and a trigonometry, but in the end he went off with the trigonometry.

    When a Man's Single J. M. Barrie
  • He advanced the science of trigonometry, but did not contribute to geometry.

    The Teaching of Geometry David Eugene Smith
  • Some schools have transit instruments for the use of their classes in trigonometry.

    The Teaching of Geometry David Eugene Smith
British Dictionary definitions for trigonometry


the branch of mathematics concerned with the properties of trigonometric functions and their application to the determination of the angles and sides of triangles. Used in surveying, navigation, etc trig
Derived Forms
trigonometric (ˌtrɪɡənəˈmɛtrɪk), trigonometrical, adjective
trigonometrically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin trigōnometria from Greek trigōnon triangle
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
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Word Origin and History for trigonometry

"branch of mathematics that deals with relations between sides and angles of triangles," 1610s, from Modern Latin trigonometria (Barthelemi Pitiscus, 1595), from Greek trigonon "triangle" (from tri- "three," see tri-, + gonia "angle," see knee (n.)) + metron "a measure" (see meter (n.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trigonometry in Science
The study of the properties and uses of trigonometric functions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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