- touching at a single point, as a tangent in relation to a curve or surface.
- in contact along a single line or element, as a plane with a cylinder.
- (in a right triangle) the ratio of the side opposite a given angle to the side adjacent to the angle.
- Also called tan. (of an angle) a trigonometric function equal to the ratio of the ordinate of the end point of the arc to the abscissa of this end point, the origin being at the center of the circle on which the arc lies and the initial point of the arc being on the x-axis. Abbreviation: tg, tgn
- (originally) a straight line perpendicular to the radius of a circle at one end of an arc and extending from this point to the produced radius which cuts off the arc at its other end.
- tangata tiriti,
- tangata whenua,
- tangent galvanometer,
- tangent line,
- tangent plane,
Origin of tangent
Examples from the Web for tangent
Not every tangent Jacobson follows is particularly illuminating, as he is the first to admit.
Tangent screws and bearings should be frequently inspected for dust or grit.Visual Signaling|Signal Corps United States Army
This beautiful law is usually thus expressed: The index of refraction of any substance is the tangent of its polarizing angle.Six Lectures on Light|John Tyndall
With another fierce yell the poor maniac—for such he had become—turned off at a tangent, and ran far away over the plains.The Red Man's Revenge|R.M. Ballantyne
- of or involving a tangent
- touching at a single point
Word Origin for tangent
1590s, "meeting at a point without intersecting," from Latin tangentem (nominative tangens), present participle of tangere "to touch," from PIE root *tag- "to touch, to handle" (cf. Latin tactus "touch," Greek tetagon "having seized," Old English þaccian "stroke, strike gently"). First used by Danish mathematician Thomas Fincke in "Geomietria Rotundi" (1583). Extended sense of "slightly connected with a subject" is first recorded 1825. The noun also is attested from 1590s.
see on a tangent.