Definitions for tangentˈtæn dʒənt

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word tangent

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tangent(noun)

    a straight line or plane that touches a curve or curved surface at a point but does not intersect it at that point

  2. tangent, tan(noun)

    ratio of the opposite to the adjacent side of a right-angled triangle

Wiktionary

  1. tangent(Noun)

    A straight line touching a curve at a single point without crossing it there.

    I believe we went off onto a tangent when we started talking about monkeys on unicycles at his retirement party.

  2. tangent(Noun)

    A topic nearly unrelated to the main topic, but having a point in common with it.

    I believe we went off onto a tangent when we started talking about monkeys on unicycles at his retirement party.

  3. tangent(Noun)

    A small metal blade by which a clavichord produces sound.

  4. tangent(Noun)

    In a right triangle, the ratio of the length of the side opposite the angle to the length of the side adjacent to the angle. Symbols: tan, tg

  5. tangent(Adjective)

    Touching a curve at a single point but not crossing it at that point.

  6. tangent(Adjective)

    Of a topic, only loosely related to a main topic.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tangent(verb)

    a tangent line curve, or surface; specifically, that portion of the straight line tangent to a curve that is between the point of tangency and a given line, the given line being, for example, the axis of abscissas, or a radius of a circle produced. See Trigonometrical function, under Function

  2. Tangent(adj)

    touching; touching at a single point

  3. Tangent(adj)

    meeting a curve or surface at a point and having at that point the same direction as the curve or surface; -- said of a straight line, curve, or surface; as, a line tangent to a curve; a curve tangent to a surface; tangent surfaces

Freebase

  1. Tangent

    In geometry, the tangent line to a plane curve at a given point is the straight line that "just touches" the curve at that point. Informally, it is a line through a pair of infinitely close points on the curve. More precisely, a straight line is said to be a tangent of a curve y = f(x) at a point x = c on the curve if the line passes through the point on the curve and has slope f' where f' is the derivative of f. A similar definition applies to space curves and curves in n-dimensional Euclidean space. As it passes through the point where the tangent line and the curve meet, called the point of tangency, the tangent line is "going in the same direction" as the curve, and is thus the best straight-line approximation to the curve at that point. Similarly, the tangent plane to a surface at a given point is the plane that "just touches" the surface at that point. The concept of a tangent is one of the most fundamental notions in differential geometry and has been extensively generalized; see Tangent space. The word tangent comes from the Latin tangere, to touch.


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