Dictionary

subtend

transitive verb sub·tend \səb-ˈtend\

Definition of SUBTEND

1
a :  to be opposite to and extend from one side to the other of <a hypotenuse subtends a right angle>
b :  to fix the angular extent of with respect to a fixed point or object taken as the vertex <a central angle subtended by an arc> <the angle subtended at the eye by an object of given width and a fixed distance away>
c :  to determine the measure of by marking off the endpoints of <a chord subtends an arc>
2
a :  to underlie so as to include
b :  to occupy an adjacent and usually lower position to and often so as to embrace or enclose <a bract that subtends a flower>

Origin of SUBTEND

Latin subtendere to stretch beneath, from sub- + tendere to stretch — more at thin
First Known Use: 1570

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: subtensePrevious Word in the Dictionary: subtenantAll Words Near: subtend
July 01, 2015
precarious Hear it
not certain, secure, or steady
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears