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secant

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noun se·cant \ˈsē-ˌkant, -kənt\

Definition of secant

  1. 1 :  a straight line cutting a curve at two or more points

  2. 2 :  a straight line drawn from the center of a circle through one end of a circular arc to a tangent drawn from the other end of the arc

  3. 3a :  a trigonometric function that for an acute angle is the ratio of the hypotenuse of a right triangle of which the angle is considered part and the leg adjacent to the angleb :  a trigonometric function sec θ that is the reciprocal of the cosine for all real numbers θ for which the cosine is not zero and that is exactly equal to the secant of an angle of measure θ in radians



Origin of secant

New Latin secant-, secans, from Latin, present participle of secare to cut — more at saw


First Known Use: 1593

Rhymes with secant


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