[ kat-n-er-ee; especially British kuh-tee-nuh-ree ]
/ ˈkæt nˌɛr i; especially British kəˈti nə ri /

noun, plural cat·e·nar·ies.

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).
(in electric railroads) the cable, running above the track, from which the trolley wire is suspended.


of, relating to, or resembling a catenary.
of or relating to a chain or linked series.

Origin of catenary

1780–90; < Latin catēnārius relating to a chain, equivalent to catēn(a) a chain + -ārius -ary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for catenary

British Dictionary definitions for catenary

/ (kəˈtiːnərɪ) /

noun plural -ries

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
the hanging cable between pylons along a railway track, from which the trolley wire is suspended

adjective Also: catenarian (ˌkætɪˈnɛərɪən)

of, resembling, relating to, or constructed using a catenary or suspended chain

Word Origin for catenary

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