Dictionary.com

tangential

[ tan-jen-shuhl ]
/ tænˈdʒɛn ʃəl /
Save This Word!

adjective
pertaining to or of the nature of a tangent; being or moving in the direction of a tangent.
merely touching; slightly connected: tangential information.
divergent or digressive, as from a subject under consideration: tangential remarks.
tending to digress or to reply to questions obliquely.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
Rarely tan·gen·tal [tan-jen-tl]. /tænˈdʒɛn tl/.

Origin of tangential

First recorded in 1620–30; tangent + -ial

OTHER WORDS FROM tangential

tan·gen·ti·al·i·ty [tan-jen-tee-al-i-tee], /tænˌdʒɛn tiˈæl ɪ ti/, nountan·gen·tial·ly, adverbnon·tan·gen·tial, adjectiveun·tan·gen·tial, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tangential in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tangential

tangential
/ (tænˈdʒɛnʃəl) /

adjective
of, being, relating to, or in the direction of a tangent
Also: transverse astronomy (of velocity) in a direction perpendicular to the line of sight of a celestial objectCompare radial (def. 6)
of superficial relevance only; digressive

Derived forms of tangential

tangentiality, nountangentially or tangentally, adverb
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
FEEDBACK