I. adjective Etymology: Latin tangent-, tangens, present participle of tangere to touch; perhaps akin to Old English thaccian to touch gently, stroke Date: 1594 1. a. meeting a curve or surface in a single point if a sufficiently small interval is considered <
straight line tangent to a curve
b. (1) having a common tangent line at a point <
tangent curves
(2) having a common tangent plane at a point <
tangent surfaces
2. diverging from an original purpose or course ; irrelevant <
tangent remarks
II. noun Etymology: New Latin tangent-, tangens, from linea tangens tangent line Date: 1594 1. a. the trigonometric function that for an acute angle is the ratio between the leg opposite to the angle when it is considered part of a right triangle and the leg adjacent b. a trigonometric function that is equal to the sine divided by the cosine for all real numbers θ for which the cosine is not equal to zero and is exactly equal to the tangent of an angle of measure θ in radians 2. a line that is tangent; specifically a straight line that is the limiting position of a secant of a curve through a fixed point and a variable point on the curve as the variable point approaches the fixed point 3. an abrupt change of course ; digression <
the speaker went off on a tangent
4. a small upright flat-ended metal pin at the inner end of a clavichord key that strikes the string to produce the tone

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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

  • Tangent — Ciudad de los Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

  • tangent — tangent, ente (tan jan, jan t ) adj. 1°   Terme de géométrie. Qui touche une ligne ou une surface en un seul point.    Une ligne droite tangente à une courbe est la limite des positions d une sécante dont un des points d intersection avec la… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Tangent — Tangent, OR U.S. city in Oregon Population (2000): 933 Housing Units (2000): 366 Land area (2000): 3.778661 sq. miles (9.786686 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 3.778661 sq. miles (9.786686 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • 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)… …   English terms dictionary

  • tangent — index close (near), proximate, tangential Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • tangent — (adj.) 1590s, meeting at a point without intersecting, from L. tangentem (nom. tangens), prp. of tangere to touch, from PIE root *tag to touch, to handle (Cf. L. tactus touch, Gk. tetagon having seized, O.E. þaccian stroke, strike gently ). First …   Etymology dictionary

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