# secant

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Related to secant: cosecant

## se·cant

(sē′kănt′, -kənt)*n.*

*Abbr.*

**sec**

**1.**

**a.**A straight line intersecting a curve at two or more points.

**b.**The straight line drawn from the center through one end of a circular arc and intersecting the tangent to the other end of the arc.

**c.**The ratio of the length of this line to the length of the radius of the circle.

**2.**The reciprocal of the cosine of an angle in a right triangle.

[From Latin secāns, secant-, present participle of secāre,

*to cut*; see sek- in Indo-European roots.]## secant

(ˈsiːkənt)*n*

**1.**(Mathematics) (of an angle) a trigonometric function that in a right-angled triangle is the ratio of the length of the hypotenuse to that of the adjacent side; the reciprocal of cosine. Abbreviation:

**sec**

**2.**(Mathematics) a line that intersects a curve

[C16: from Latin

*secāre*to cut]**ˈsecantly**

*adv*

## se•cant

(ˈsi kænt, -kənt)*n.*

**1.**an intersecting line, esp. one intersecting a curve at two or more points.

**2.**(in a right triangle) the ratio of the hypotenuse to the side adjacent to a given angle; the reciprocal of its cosine.

*Abbr.:*sec

**se′cant•ly,**

*adv.*

## se·cant

(sē′kănt′)**1.**A straight line or ray that intersects a curve, especially a circle, at two or more points.

**2.**The ratio of the length of the hypotenuse in a right triangle to the side adjacent to an acute angle; the inverse of the cosine.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonyms

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Noun | 1. | secant - a straight line that intersects a curve at two or more pointsstraight 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. | secant - ratio of the hypotenuse to the adjacent side of a right-angled trianglecircular function, trigonometric function - function of an angle expressed as a ratio of the length of the sides of right-angled triangle containing the angle |

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