# Definitions for **catenary**ˈkæt nˌɛr i; esp. Brit. kəˈti nə ri

### This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word **catenary**

### Random House Webster's College Dictionary

cat•e•nar•yˈkæt nˌɛr i; esp. Brit. kəˈti nə ri(n.; adj.)(pl.)-nar•ies

(n.)the curve assumed approximately by a heavy uniform cord or chain hanging freely from two points not in the same vertical line. Equation: y = k cosh

(x/k).

**Category:**Math(in electric railroads) the cable, running above the track, from which the trolley wire is suspended.

**Category:**Railroads(adj.)of, pertaining to, or resembling a catenary.

**Category:**Math

#### Origin of **catenary**:

1780–90; < L catēnārius relating to a chain =catēn(a) a chain +-ārius -ary

### Princeton's WordNet

catenary(noun)

the curve theoretically assumed by a perfectly flexible and inextensible cord of uniform density and cross section hanging freely from two fixed points

### Wiktionary

catenary(Noun)

The curve described by a flexible chain or a rope if it is supported at each end and is acted upon only by no other forces than a uniform gravitational force due to its own weight.

catenary(Noun)

The curve of an anchor cable from the seabed to the vessel; it should be horizontal at the anchor so as to bury the flukes.

catenary(Noun)

A system of overhead power lines that provide trains, trolleys, buses, etc., with electricity, having a straight conductor wire and a bowed suspension cable.

**Origin:** From catenaria, in turn from catena. Attested since 1788.

### Webster Dictionary

Catenary(adj)

alt. of Catenarian

Catenary(noun)

the curve formed by a rope or chain of uniform density and perfect flexibility, hanging freely between two points of suspension, not in the same vertical line

### Freebase

Catenary

In physics and geometry, a catenary[p] is the curve that an idealized hanging chain or cable assumes under its own weight when supported only at its ends. The curve has a U-like shape, superficially similar in appearance to a parabola. It also appears in the design of certain types of arches and as a cross section of the catenoid—the shape assumed by a soap film bounded by two parallel circular rings. The catenary is also called the "alysoid", "chainette", or, particularly in the material sciences, "funicular". Mathematically, the catenary curve is the graph of the hyperbolic cosine function. The surface of revolution of the catenary curve, the catenoid, is a minimal surface, and is the only minimal surface of revolution other than the plane. The mathematical properties of the catenary curve were first studied by Robert Hooke in the 1670s, and its equation was derived by Leibniz, Huygens and Johann Bernoulli in 1691. Catenaries and related curves appear in architecture and engineering, in the design of bridges and arches. A sufficiently heavy anchor chain will form a catenary curve.

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"catenary." *Definitions.net.* STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/catenary>.