# cotangent

[ koh-tan-juhnt, koh-tan- ]

## noun

, Trigonometry.
1. (in a right triangle) the ratio of the side adjacent to a given angle to the side opposite.
2. the tangent of the complement, or the reciprocal of the tangent, of a given angle or arc. : cot, ctn

cotangent

/ ˌkəʊtænˈdʒɛnʃəl; kəʊˈtændʒənt /

## noun

1. (of an angle) a trigonometric function that in a right-angled triangle is the ratio of the length of the adjacent side to that of the opposite side; the reciprocal of tangent Abbreviationcotcotanctn

cotangent

/ kō-tănjənt /

1. The ratio of the length of the adjacent side of an acute angle in a right triangle to the length of the opposite side. The cotangent is the inverse of the tangent.
2. The ratio of the ordinate to the abscissa of the endpoint of an arc of a unit circle centered at the origin of a Cartesian coordinate system, the arc being of length x and measured counterclockwise from the point (1, 0) if x is positive or clockwise if x is negative.
3. A function of a number x, equal to the cotangent of an angle whose measure in radians is equal to x.

## Other Words From

• co·tan·gen·tial [koh-tan-, jen, -sh, uh, l], adjective

## Word History and Origins

Origin of cotangent1

First recorded in 1625–35, cotangent is from the New Latin word cotangent- (stem of cotangēns ). See co-, tangent