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Meaning of “tangent” in the English Dictionary

"tangent" in British English

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tangentnoun [C]

uk   /ˈtæn.dʒənt/ us   /ˈtæn.dʒənt/ specialized
  • tangent noun [C] (CIRCLE)

a straight line that touches but does not cut into a curve
  • tangent noun [C] (TRIANGLE)

written abbreviation tan (in a triangle that has one angle of 90°) the ratio of the length of the side opposite an angle less than 90° divided by the length of the shorter of the two sides that are next to the angle
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(Definition of tangent from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"tangent" in American English

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tangentnoun [C]

us   /ˈtæn·dʒənt/
  • tangent noun [C] (DIFFERENT SUBJECT)

a subject or activity that is different than the one you are talking about or doing: We were talking about exercise and got off on a tangent.
  • tangent noun [C] (MATH)

trigonometry in a triangle that has one angle of 90°, the ratio (= comparison) of the length of the side opposite an angle less than 90° divided by the length of the shorter of the two sides that are next to the angle
geometry A tangent is also a line that touches a curve or solid at a particular point.
(Definition of tangent from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“tangent” in British English

“tangent” in American English

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