# tangent

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Related to tangent: trigonometry, Tangent function

## 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.

*adj.*

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.

*adj*

**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.

*adj.*

**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.

**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 WordsSynonyms

**Legend:**Switch to new thesaurus

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 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 |

## tangent

*noun*

An instance of digressing:

Translations

**مُماس، ظِل الزاوِيَه**

**tečna**

**tangens**

**tangent**

**tangentti**

**érintõvonal**

**snertill**

**snertill, snertilína**

**tangens**

**liestinė**

**mestis į kitą pusę**

**nukrypti**

**pasukti į kitą pusę**

**tangente**

**styczna**tangens

**dotyčnica**

## 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.Want to thank TFD for its existence? Tell a friend about us, add a link to this page, or visit the webmaster's page for free fun content.

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