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Meaning of TANGENT

Pronunciation:  'tanjunt

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  ratio of the opposite to the adjacent side of a right-angled triangle
  2. [n]  a straight line or plane that touches a curve or curved surface at a point but does not intersect it at that point

TANGENT is a 7 letter word that starts with T.


 Synonyms: tan
 See Also: circular function, straight line, trigonometric function



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \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, that portion
    of the straight line tangent to a curve that is between the
    point of tangency and a given line, the given line being, for
    example, the axis of abscissas, or a radius of a circle
    produced. See {Trigonometrical function}, under {Function}.
    {Artificial}, or {Logarithmic}, {tangent}, the logarithm of
       the natural tangent of an arc.
    {Natural tangent}, a decimal expressing the length of the
       tangent of an arc, the radius being reckoned unity.
    {Tangent galvanometer} (Elec.), a form of galvanometer having
       a circular coil and a short needle, in which the tangent
       of the angle of deflection of the needle is proportional
       to the strength of the current.
    {Tangent of an angle}, the natural tangent of the arc
       subtending or measuring the angle.
    {Tangent of an arc}, a right line, as ta, touching the arc of
       a circle at one extremity a, and terminated by a line ct,
       passing from the center through the other extremity o.
  2. \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 surface; as, a line tangent to a
    curve; a curve tangent to a surface; tangent surfaces.
    {Tangent plane} (Geom.), a plane which touches a surface in a
       point or line.
    {Tangent scale} (Gun.), a kind of breech sight for a cannon.
    {Tangent screw} (Mach.), an endless screw; a worm.