noun \hī-ˈpər-bə-lə\
plural hy·per·bo·las or hy·per·bo·lae\-(ˌ)lē\

Definition of HYPERBOLA

:  a plane curve generated by a point so moving that the difference of the distances from two fixed points is a constant :  a curve formed by the intersection of a double right circular cone with a plane that cuts both halves of the cone

Illustration of HYPERBOLA


New Latin, from Greek hyperbolē
First Known Use: 1668


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Curve with two separate branches, one of the conic sections. In Euclidean geometry, the intersection of a double right circular cone and a plane at an angle that is less than the cone's generating angle (the angle its sides make with its central axis) forms the hyperbola's two branches (one on each nappe, or single cone). In analytic geometry, the standard equation of a hyperbola is x2/a2  y2/b2 = 1. Hyperbolas have many important physical attributes that make them useful in the design of lenses and antennas.


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