Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to secant: cosecant
n. Abbr. sec
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.
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]
se•cant(ˈsi kænt, -kənt)
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
[1585–95; < Latin secant-, s. of secāns, present participle of secāre to cut; see -ant]
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.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||secant - a straight line that intersects a curve at two or more points|
straight 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 triangle|