# secant

[ see-kant, -kuhnt ]

## noun

1. Geometry. an intersecting line, especially one intersecting a curve at two or more points.
2. Trigonometry.
1. (in a right triangle) the ratio of the hypotenuse to the side adjacent to a given angle.
2. (originally) a line from the center of a circle through one extremity of an arc to the tangent from the other extremity.
3. the ratio of the length of this line to that of the radius of the circle; the reciprocal of the cosine of a given angle or arc. : sec

1. cutting or intersecting, as one line or surface in relation to another.

secant

/ ˈsiːkənt /

## noun

1. (of an angle) a trigonometric function that in a right-angled triangle is the ratio of the length of the hypotenuse to that of the adjacent side; the reciprocal of cosine sec
2. a line that intersects a curve

secant

/ kănt′ /

1. A straight line or ray that intersects a curve, especially a circle, at two or more points.
2. The ratio of the length of the hypotenuse in a right triangle to the side adjacent to an acute angle. The secant is the inverse of the cosine.
3. The reciprocal of 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.
4. A function of a number x, equal to the secant of an angle whose measure in radians is equal to x.

## Word History and Origins

Origin of secant1

1585–95; < Latin secant- (stem of secāns, present participle of secāre to cut), equivalent to sec- verb stem ( saw 1 ) + -ant- -ant

## Word History and Origins

Origin of secant1

C16: from Latin secāre to cut

## Example Sentences

On any secant of an hyperbola the segments between the curve and the asymptotes are equal.

The fraction Δy/Δx is the trigonometrical tangent of the angle which the secant PP′ makes with the axis of x.

If the curve has a tangent at P the secant PP′ approaches a limiting position (see 33 below).

There is no necessary connexion between a conical projection and any touching or secant cone.

I say they are equall in the alterne angles of the secant and touch line oey, and oeu.