[ hahy-pur-buh-luh ]
/ haɪˈpɜr bə lə /

noun Geometry.

the set of points in a plane whose distances to two fixed points in the plane have a constant difference; a curve consisting of two distinct and similar branches, formed by the intersection of a plane with a right circular cone when the plane makes a greater angle with the base than does the generator of the cone. Equation: x 2/a 2y 2/b 2 = ±1.

Origin of hyperbola

1660–70; < New Latin < Greek hyperbolḗ the geometrical term, literally, excess. See hyperbole
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hyperbola

British Dictionary definitions for hyperbola


/ (haɪˈpɜːbələ) /

noun plural -las or -le (-ˌliː)

a conic section formed by a plane that cuts both bases of a cone; it consists of two branches asymptotic to two intersecting fixed lines and has two foci. Standard equation: x ²/ a ² – y ²/ b ² = 1 where 2 a is the distance between the two intersections with the x -axis and b = a √(e ² – 1), where e is the eccentricity

Word Origin for hyperbola

C17: from Greek huperbolē, literally: excess, extravagance, from hyper- + ballein to throw
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 hyperbola



1660s, from Latinized form of Greek hyperbole "extravagance," literally "a throwing beyond" (see hyperbole). Perhaps so called because the inclination of the plane to the base of the cone exceeds that of the side of the cone.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for hyperbola


[ hī-pûrbə-lə ]

Plural hyperbolas hyperbolae (hī-pûrbə-lē)

A plane curve having two separate parts or branches, formed when two cones that point toward one another are intersected by a plane that is parallel to the axes of the cones.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for hyperbola


[ (heye-pur-buh-luh) ]

In geometry, a curve having a single bend, with lines going infinitely far from the bend.


The path of a comet that enters the solar system and then leaves forever is a hyperbolic curve (half of a hyperbola).
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.