View synonyms for tangential


[ tan-jen-shuhl ]


  1. pertaining to or of the nature of a tangent; being or moving in the direction of a tangent.
  2. merely touching; slightly connected:

    tangential information.

  3. divergent or digressive, as from a subject under consideration:

    tangential remarks.

  4. tending to digress or to reply to questions obliquely.


/ tænˈdʒɛnʃəl /


  1. of, being, relating to, or in the direction of a tangent
  2. Alsotransverse astronomy (of velocity) in a direction perpendicular to the line of sight of a celestial object Compare radial
  3. of superficial relevance only; digressive

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Derived Forms

  • tanˌgentiˈality, noun
  • tanˈgentially, adverb

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Other Words From

  • tan·gen·ti·al·i·ty [tan-jen-tee-, al, -i-tee], noun
  • tan·gen·tial·ly adverb
  • non·tan·gen·tial adjective
  • un·tan·gen·tial adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of tangential1

First recorded in 1620–30; tangent + -ial

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Example Sentences

While the Invitational itself was tangential, at most, to the vacation, it once again reinforced the Invite as a three-decade-old social community.

The rumor about Alfa Bank that never amounted to anything was, at best, tangential.

However, the decision does affirm the Supreme Court’s recognition of the importance of “vigorous enforcement of the antitrust laws in maintaining a competitive economy,” as Rifkin says, which could have some tangential impacts on other cases.

From Ozy

The show is so tangential to their fame now, which exists largely on social media and in their entrepreneurial ventures, that it doesn’t have anything new to say.

Sprinkled throughout the film are some tangential insights in the commercial life of a truffle after it’s been plucked out of the ground.

From Eater

A tangential answer to your question would be, what am I proudest of?

Tangential characters are combined into composites or eliminated entirely; the same holds for certain events.

Once again the idea came from a tangential story she came across researching Unbroken.

“Many view the straw poll as almost tangential to all the happenings of CPAC,” said Republican political consultant Brian Donahue.

Four tangential slots (C) are cut into the perimeter of the pulley (B), and in each is a hardened steel roller (D).

He was positive there had been another section on top, shooting off at an angle, representing a problem in tangential stress.

He ran off tangential to orbit at escape velocity on a pattern that would probably run in a straight path to infinity.

But if it cannot get free, it is compelled to leave each new tangential direction, as soon as it has taken it.

In this escapement as delineated there is perfect tangential locking.


Related Words




tangent galvanometertangentially