Definition of tangent :
1. 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. 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.
3. Touching; touching at a single point
aside, sunburn, cotangent, diameter, horizontal, obtuse, excursus, divergence, orthogonal, burn, tan, topaz, diagonal, oblique, axis, parenthesis, chord, degree, median, suntan, deviation, arc, excursion, inclined plane, perpendicular, approach, cos, line, minute, outline, divergency, curvature, digression, irrelevancy, divagation, cosine
touching (part of speech: adjective)
- The tangent- sight on the standard of their machine- gun is always at 200, and they have not altered the range for three months. - "Leaves from a Field Note-Book", J. H. Morgan.
- 104. The electrons are going of their own accord and the nucleus keeps them from flying off at a tangent, the way mud flies from the wheel of an automobile. - "Letters of a Radio-Engineer to His Son", John Mills.
- I can determine the coefficient of friction from the angle of friction by taking the tangent of the angle. - "The Birth-Time of the World and Other Scientific Essays", J. (John) Joly.