# tangent

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Related to Tangent (geometry): internally tangent circles, common tangent
tangent
tan θ = a/b

## tan·gent

(tăn′jənt)
n.
1. Mathematics
a. A line, curve, or surface meeting another line, curve, or surface at a common point and sharing a common tangent line or tangent plane at that point.
b. Abbr. tan The trigonometric function of an acute angle in a right triangle that is the ratio of the length of the side opposite the angle to the length of the side adjacent to the angle.
2. A sudden digression or change of course: went off on a tangent during his presentation.
3. Music An upright pin in a keyboard instrument, especially in a clavichord, that rises to sound a string when a key is depressed and stops the string at a preset length to set the pitch.
Making contact at a single point or along a line; touching but not intersecting.

[Latin (līnea) tangēns, tangent-, touching (line), present participle of tangere, to touch; see tag- in Indo-European roots.]

## tangent

(ˈtændʒənt)
n
1. (Mathematics) a geometric line, curve, plane, or curved surface that touches another curve or surface at one point but does not intersect it
2. (Mathematics) (of an angle) a trigonometric function that in a right-angled triangle is the ratio of the length of the opposite side to that of the adjacent side; the ratio of sine to cosine. Abbreviation: tan
3. (Surveying) the straight part on a survey line between curves
4. (Music, other) music a part of the action of a clavichord consisting of a small piece of metal that strikes the string to produce a note
5. on a tangent at a tangent on a completely different or divergent course, esp of thought: to go off at a tangent.
6. (Mathematics)
a. of or involving a tangent
b. touching at a single point
7. touching
8. almost irrelevant
[C16: from Latin phrase līnea tangēns the touching line, from tangere to touch]
ˈtangency n

## tan•gent

(ˈtæn dʒənt)

n.
1. a line or plane that touches but does not intersect a curve or surface at a point so that it is closer to the curve or surface in the vicinity of the point than any other line or plane drawn through the point.
2. Also called tan .a fundamental trigonometric function that, in a right triangle, is expressed as the ratio of the side opposite an acute angle to the side adjacent to that angle.
3. in immediate physical contact; touching; abutting.
4.
a. touching at a single point, as a tangent in relation to a curve or surface.
b. in contact along a single line or element, as a plane with a cylinder.
Idioms:
off on or at a tangent, digressing suddenly from one course of action or thought and turning to another.
[1585–90; < Latin tangent-, s. of tangēns, in phrase līnea tangēns touching line; see -ent]
tan′gen•cy (-dʒən si) n.

## tan·gent

(tăn′jənt)
1. A line, curve, or surface touching but not intersecting another.
2. The ratio of the length of the side opposite an acute angle in a right triangle to the side adjacent to the angle.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
 Noun 1 tangent - a straight line or plane that touches a curve or curved surface at a point but does not intersect it at that pointstraight line - a line traced by a point traveling in a constant direction; a line of zero curvature; "the shortest distance between two points is a straight line" 2 tangent - ratio of the opposite to the adjacent side of a right-angled triangletancircular function, trigonometric function - function of an angle expressed as a ratio of the length of the sides of right-angled triangle containing the angle

## tangent

noun
An instance of digressing:
Translations
مُماس، ظِل الزاوِيَه
tečnatangens
tangent
tangentti
érintõvonal
snertillsnertill, snertilínatangens
liestinėmestis į kitą pusęnukryptipasukti į kitą pusę
tangente
stycznatangens
dotyčnica

## tangent

[ˈtændʒənt] N (Geom) →
to go or fly off at a tangentsalirse por la tangente

## tangent

[ˈtændʒənt] n
(MATHEMATICS)
(fig) to go off at a tangent → bifurquer

## tangent

n (Math) → Tangente f; to go off at a tangent (fig)(plötzlich) vom Thema abkommen or abschweifen; he went off at a tangent about flowerser schweifte plötzlich ab und fing an, über Blumen zu reden

## tangent

[ˈtændʒnt] n (Geom) →
to go off at a tangent (fig) →

## tangent

(ˈtӕndʒənt) noun
a line that touches a curve but does not cut it.
go off at a tangent
to go off suddenly in another direction or on a different line of thought, action etc. It is difficult to have a sensible conversation with her, as she keeps going off at a tangent.
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