asymptote

noun
as·​ymp·​tote | \ ˈa-səm(p)-ˌtōt How to pronounce asymptote (audio) \

Definition of asymptote

: a straight line associated with a curve such that as a point moves along an infinite branch of the curve the distance from the point to the line approaches zero and the slope of the curve at the point approaches the slope of the line

Illustration of asymptote

Illustration of asymptote

asymptotes to the hyperbola

Other Words from asymptote

asymptotic \ ˌa-​səm(p)-​ˈtä-​tik How to pronounce asymptotic (audio) \ adjective
asymptotically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce asymptotically (audio) \ adverb

First Known Use of asymptote

1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for asymptote

probably from New Latin *asymptotus, from Greek asymptōtos not meeting, from a- + sympiptein to meet — more at symptom

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about asymptote

Statistics for asymptote

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for asymptote

The first known use of asymptote was in 1656

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on asymptote

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with asymptote

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about asymptote

Comments on asymptote

What made you want to look up asymptote? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move or proceed with twists and turns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!