# Definify.com

## Tan′gent

,
Noun.
[L.
tangens
,
-entis
, p. pr. of
tangere
to touch; akin to Gr. [GREEK] having seized: cf. F.
tangente
. Cf.
Attain
,
Contaminate
,
Contingent
,
Entire
,
Tact
,
Taste
,
Tax
,
Verb.
T.
]
(Geom.)
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
.
Artificial tangent
, or
Logarithmic tangent
,
the logarithm of the natural tangent of an arc.
Natural tangent
,
a decimal expressing the length of the tangent of an arc, the radius being reckoned unity.
Tangent galvanometer
(Elec.)
,
a form of galvanometer having a circular coil and a short needle, in which the tangent of the angle of deflection of the needle is proportional to the strength of the current.
Tangent of an angle
,
the natural tangent of the arc subtending or measuring the angle.
Tangent of an arc
,
a right line, as ta, touching the arc of a circle at one extremity a, and terminated by a line ct, passing from the center through the other extremity o.

## Tan′gent

,
[L.
tangens
,
-entis
, p. pr.]
Touching; touching at a single point
; specifically
(Geom.)
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.
Tangent plane
(Geom.)
,
a plane which touches a surface in a point or line.
Tangent scale
(Gun.)
,
a kind of breech sight for a cannon.
Tangent screw
(Mach.)
,
an endless screw; a worm.

## TAN'GENT

,
Noun.
[L. tangens, touching. See Touch.]
In geometry, a right line which touches a curve, but which when produced, does not cut it. In trigonometry, the tangent of an arc, is a right line touching the arc at one extremity, and terminated by a second passing through the other extremity.

# tangent

## English

A straight line tangent to a curve
Tangent function of unit circle

### Noun

tangent (plural tangents)

1. (geometry) A straight line touching a curve at a single point without crossing it there.
2. (trigonometry) 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
3. 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.
• 1928, Lawrence R. Bourne, chapter 1, in Well Tackled!:
“Uncle Barnaby was always father and mother to me,” Benson broke in; then after a pause his mind flew off at a tangent. “Is old Hannah all right—in the will, I mean?”
• 2009: Stuart Heritage, Hecklerspray, Friday the 22nd of May in 2009 at 1 o’clock p.m., “Jon & Kate Latest: People You Don’t Know Do Crap You Don’t Care About
Jon & Kate Plus 8 is a show based on two facts: (1) Jon and Kate Gosselin have eight children, and (2) the word ‘Kate’ rhymes with the word ‘eight’. One suspects that if Kate were ever to have another child, a shady network executive would urge her to put it in a binbag with a brick and drop it down a well. But this is just a horrifying tangent.
4. A small metal blade by which a clavichord produces sound.

#### Synonyms

• (straight line): tangent line

#### Translations

tangent (not comparable)

1. (geometry) Touching a curve at a single point but not crossing it at that point.
2. Of a topic, only loosely related to a main topic.

## Danish

### Noun

tangent c (singular definite tangenten, plural indefinite tangenter)

1. (geometry) tangent
Differentialregning kan fortolkes som forsøget på at bestemme en tangents hældning.
Differential calculus may be interpreted as the attempt to determine the slope of a tangent.
2. A piano key

## French

tangent m (feminine singular tangente, masculine plural tangents, feminine plural tangentes)

## Latin

### Verb

tangent

1. third-person plural future active indicative of tangō

## Norwegian Bokmål

### Noun

tangent m (definite singular tangenten, indefinite plural tangenter, definite plural tangentene)

1. (geometry) a tangent
2. (music) a key (e.g. on a piano)

## Norwegian Nynorsk

### Noun

tangent m (definite singular tangenten, indefinite plural tangentar, definite plural tangentane)

1. (geometry) a tangent
2. (music) a key (e.g. on a piano)

## Swedish

### Noun

tangent c

1. a key (button on a typewriter, computer keyboard or piano)
2. (mathematics) a tangent

#### Declension

Inflection of tangent
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative tangent tangenten tangenter tangenterna
Genitive tangents tangentens tangenters tangenternas