[ as-im-toht ]
/ ˈæs ɪmˌtoʊt /

noun Mathematics.

a straight line approached by a given curve as one of the variables in the equation of the curve approaches infinity.

Nearby words

  1. asymmetric warfare,
  2. asymmetrical,
  3. asymmetrical warfare,
  4. asymmetry,
  5. asymptomatic,
  6. asymptotic,
  7. asymptotic freedom,
  8. asynapsis,
  9. asynchronism,
  10. asynchronous

Origin of asymptote

1650–60; < Greek asýmptōtos, equivalent to a- a-6 + sýmptōtos falling together (sym- sym- + ptōtós falling, derivative of ptō-, variant stem of píptein to fall + -tos verbid suffix) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for asymptote

British Dictionary definitions for asymptote


/ (ˈæsɪmˌtəʊt) /


a straight line that is closely approached by a plane curve so that the perpendicular distance between them decreases to zero as the distance from the origin increases to infinity

Word Origin for asymptote

C17: from Greek asumptōtos not falling together, from a- 1 + syn- + ptōtos inclined to fall, from piptein to fall

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

Word Origin and History for asymptote



"straight line continually approaching but never meeting a curve," 1650s, from Greek asymptotos "not falling together," from a- "not" + syn "with" + ptotos "fallen," verbal adjective from piptein "to fall" (see symptom). Related: Asymptotic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for asymptote


[ ăsĭm-tōt′ ]

A line whose distance to a given curve tends to zero. An asymptote may or may not intersect its associated curve.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.