[suh b-tend, suhb-]
- Geometry. to extend under or be opposite to: a chord subtending an arc.
- Botany. (of a leaf, bract, etc.) to occur beneath or close to.
- to form or mark the outline or boundary of.
Origin of subtend
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for subtend
Undersea, submarine; underspan, subtend; underslinking, subterfuge.An Outline of English Speech-craft
In like manner the two pale are bracteoles which subtend the flower proper.Grasses
H. Marshall Ward
"Subtend" is from the Latin sub (under), and tendere (to stretch).
He did not define "subtend," supposing such words to be already understood.
The cones, about the size of a small walnut, bear spirally arranged imbricated scales which subtend the three-angled winged seeds.
- geometry to be opposite to and delimit (an angle or side)
- (of a bract, stem, etc) to have (a bud or similar part) growing in its axil
- to mark off
- to underlie; be inherent in
C16: from Latin subtendere to extend beneath, from sub- + tendere to stretch out
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 subtend
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper