Select Source:

## tangent

tangent, in mathematics. 1 In geometry, the tangent to a circle or sphere is a straight line that intersects the circle or sphere in one and only one point. For other curves and surfaces the tangent line at a given point P is defined as the limiting position, if such a limit exists, of a secant line through P and another point P′ on the curve or surface as P′ is allowed to approach P. The tangent plane to a surface at a point is the plane in which every line in the plane that passes through the point is a tangent line to the surface at that point. The study of tangent lines and planes usually requires the concepts of the calculus and is included within the scope of differential geometry. 2 A trigonometric function. See trigonometry.

Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

• MLA
• Chicago
• APA

"tangent." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tangent." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tangent

"tangent." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tangent

## tangent

tan·gent / ˈtanjənt/ • n. 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. ∎ fig. a completely different line of thought or action: she went off on a tangent about how she and her husband had driven past a department store window. 2. Math. the trigonometric function that is equal to the ratio of the sides (other than the hypotenuse) opposite and adjacent to an angle in a right triangle. • adj. (of a line or plane) touching, but not intersecting, a curve or curved surface. DERIVATIVES: tan·gen·cy / -jənsē/ n.

tangent

Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

• MLA
• Chicago
• APA

"tangent." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tangent." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tangent-0

"tangent." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tangent-0

## tangent

tangent (from Lat. tangere, to touch). Part of clavichord, a small metal ‘tongue’, which touches a str. when key is struck and produces sound. Remains in contact with str. while note sounds.

Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

• MLA
• Chicago
• APA

"tangent." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tangent." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tangent

"tangent." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tangent

## tangent

tangent In trigonometry, ratio of the length of the side opposite an acute angle to the length of the side adjacent to it within a right-angle triangle.

Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

• MLA
• Chicago
• APA

"tangent." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tangent." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tangent

"tangent." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tangent

## tangent

tangent (geom.) adj. touching at a point XVI; sb. XVI. — L. tangēns, -ent-, prp. of tangere touch. See -ENT.
Hence tangential XVII.

Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

• MLA
• Chicago
• APA

"tangent." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tangent." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tangent-1

"tangent." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tangent-1