# tangent

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tangent
tangent [tan′jənt]
[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 (line)]
1. Geom.
a) a tangent line, curve, or surface
b) the length of a straight line tangent to a curve, measured from the point of tangency to the intersection of the tangent line with the x-axis
2. Trigonometry the reciprocal of the cotangent; specif.,
a) the ratio of the opposite side of a given acute angle in a right triangle to the adjacent side: see SINE1
b) an equivalent, positive or negative ratio for certain related angles (Ex.: the tangent of 57° or 237° is 1.5399, of 123° or 303° is -1.5399) or real numbers representing radians (Ex.: the tangent of .9948 radians (57°) is 1.5399)
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go off at (or on) a tangent or fly off at (or on) a tangent
to break off suddenly from a line of action or train of thought and pursue another course
tangency
n.

English World dictionary. . 2014.

Synonyms:

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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 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