# tangent

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tangent
tangent NOUN 1) a straight line or plane that touches a curve or curved surface at a point, but if extended does not cross it at that point. 2) Mathematics the trigonometric function that is equal to the ratio of the sides (other than the hypotenuse) opposite and adjacent to an angle in a right-angled triangle. 3) a completely different line of thought or action: her mind went off at a tangent.
ADJECTIVE (of a line or plane) touching, but not intersecting, a curve or curved surface.
DERIVATIVES tangency noun.
ORIGIN from Latin tangere 'to touch' .

English terms dictionary. 2015.

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• tangent — tangent, ente [ tɑ̃ʒɑ̃, ɑ̃t ] adj. • 1683; lat. tangens, entis, de tangere « toucher » 1 ♦ Géom. Qui n a qu un point de contact en un seul point. (1705) Plan tangent à une surface : ensemble des tangentes en un point à cette surface, formant… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

• Tangent — Tan gent, n. [L. tangens, entis, p. pr. of tangere to touch; akin to Gr. ? having seized: cf. F. tangente. Cf. {Attain}, {Contaminate}, {Contingent}, {Entire}, {Tact}, {Taste}, {Tax}, v. t.] (Geom.) A tangent line curve, or surface; specifically …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• tangent — TANGÉNT, Ă, tangenţi, te, adj., s.f. 1. adj. (Despre drepte) Care atinge o curbă într un singur punct. ♦ (Despre planuri) Care conţine tangente (2) la toate curbele care trec printr un punct al unei suprafeţe, care atinge suprafaţa într un singur …   Dicționar Român

• tangent — [tan′jənt] adj. [L tangens, prp. of tangere, to touch: see TACT] 1. that touches; touching 2. Geom. touching and not intersecting a curve or curved surface at one and only one point: said of a line or plane n. [< ModL ( linea) tangens, tangent …   English World dictionary

• Tangent — Tan gent, a. [L. tangens, entis, p. pr.] Touching; touching at a single point; specifically (Geom.) meeting a curve or surface at a point and having at that point the same direction as the curve or surface; said of a straight line, curve, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English