This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.

# secant

[ see-kant, -kuhnt ]

/ Ėsi kĆ¦nt, -kÉnt /

Save This Word!

This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.

## Definition of secant

noun

Geometry. an intersecting line, especially one intersecting a curve at two or more points.

Trigonometry.

- (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

adjective

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

QUIZ

QUIZ YOURSELF ON āITSā VS. āITāSā!

Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between "itās" and "its" in this crafty quiz!

Question 1 of 8

On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roostersā; ______ not even comparable.

## Origin of secant

## OTHER WORDS FROM secant

seĀ·cantĀ·ly, adverb## Words nearby secant

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Ā© Random House, Inc. 2022

## How to use secant in a sentence

## British Dictionary definitions for secant

secant

/ (ĖsiĖkÉnt) /

noun

(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 cosineAbbreviation: sec

a line that intersects a curve

## Derived forms of secant

secantly, adverb## Word Origin for secant

C16: from Latin secÄre to cut

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
Ā© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 Ā© HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

## Scientific definitions for secant

secant

[ sÄā²kÄntā² ]

A straight line or ray that intersects a curve, especially a circle, at two or more points.

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.

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.

A function of a number x, equal to the secant of an angle whose measure in radians is equal to x.

The American HeritageĀ® Science Dictionary
Copyright Ā© 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.