ab·scis·sa | \ab-ˈsi-sə \
plural abscissas also abscissae\-ˈsi-(ˌ)sē \

Definition of abscissa 

: the horizontal coordinate of a point in a plane Cartesian coordinate system obtained by measuring parallel to the x-axis — compare ordinate

Illustration of abscissa

Illustration of abscissa

AP abscissa of point P

First Known Use of abscissa

1694, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abscissa

borrowed from New Latin (short for linea abscissa, literally, "cut-off line"), going back to Latin, feminine of abscissus, past participle of abscindere "to tear off or away," from ab- ab- + scindere "to split, separate, tear apart," going back to Indo-European *sḱhi-n-d-, nasal present formation from the base *sḱhei̯̯d- "split, separate" — more at shed entry 1

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The first known use of abscissa was in 1694

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