- (in a right triangle) the ratio of the hypotenuse to the side adjacent to a given angle.
- (originally) a line from the center of a circle through one extremity of an arc to the tangent from the other extremity.
- 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. Abbreviation: sec
Origin of secant
Examples from the Web for secant
The whole secret of avoiding shipwreck is to try and pass from the secant to the tangent.The Man Who Laughs|Victor Hugo
I say they are equall in the alterne angles of the secant and touch line oey, and oeu.The Way To Geometry|Peter Ramus
Secant equals one over cosine—um-m-m-m—one point oh three five.Skylark Three|Edward Elmer Smith
Every ray through S1 or S2 which is not a secant determines one of them.
The complement of the logarithm of a sine, tangent, or secant.The Sailor's Word-Book|William Henry Smyth
British Dictionary definitions for secant
Word Origin for secant
Word Origin and History for secant
1590s, from Latin secantem (nominative secans) "a cutting," present participle of secare "to cut" (see section (n.)). First used by Danish mathematician Thomas Fincke in "Geometria Rotundi" (1583).