tangent Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “tangent” in the English Dictionary

"tangent" in British English

See all translations

tangentnoun [C]

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

a ​straightline 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 ​sideopposite an ​angle less than 90° ​divided by the ​length of the ​shorter of the two ​sides that are next to the ​angle
Compare
(Definition of tangent from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"tangent" in American English

See all translations

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 ​sideopposite 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 ​particularpoint.
(Definition of tangent from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of tangent?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“tangent” in British English

“tangent” in American English

Word of the Day

drum

a musical instrument, especially one made from a skin stretched over the end of a hollow tube or bowl, played by hitting with the hand or a stick

Word of the Day

I used to work hard/I’m used to working hard (Phrases with ‘used to’)
I used to work hard/I’m used to working hard (Phrases with ‘used to’)
by Kate Woodford,
February 10, 2016
On this blog, we like to look at words and phrases in the English language that learners often have difficulty with. Two phrases that can be confused are ‘used to do something’ and ‘be used to something/doing something’. People often use one phrase when they mean the other, or they use the wrong

Read More 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More