co·​sine | \ ˈkō-ˌsīn How to pronounce cosine (audio) \

Definition of cosine

1 : a trigonometric function that for an acute angle is the ratio between the leg adjacent to the angle when it is considered part of a right triangle and the hypotenuse
2 : a trigonometric function cos θ that for all real numbers θ is given by the sum of the alternating series {latex}1 - \frac{x^2}{2!} + \frac{x^4}{4!} - \frac{x^6}{6!} + \frac{x^8}{8!} - \dots{/latex} and that is exactly equal to the cosine of an angle of measure θ in radians

Examples of cosine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Markets move through something of a sine, cosine pattern from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market and back again. David Friedman, Forbes, 24 May 2021 As an example, consider an operator that transforms a function into its derivative (turning the sine of x into the cosine of x, for example, or x3 into 3x2, and so on). Quanta Magazine, 19 Apr. 2021 It was well known by then that the goat problem could be reduced to a single transcendental equation, which by definition includes trigonometric terms like sine and cosine. Quanta Magazine, 9 Dec. 2020 The numerical solution above ALSO looks EXACTLY like a cosine function. Rhett Allain, Wired, 2 Nov. 2020 The space agency worked with companies including Intel, Ubotica Technologies, and camera-maker cosine to develop a small cube satellite about the size of a desktop computer called PhiSat-1. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 20 Oct. 2020 Since the cosine of 180 degrees is negative 1, the work done by this force is -0.11 Joules. Rhett Allain, WIRED, 16 Aug. 2019 The link was so clear it could be described in derivative sines and cosines, mathematical concepts taught in college trigonometry. Brandon Keim, WIRED, 6 Dec. 2011

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cosine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cosine

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cosine

New Latin cosinus, from co- + Medieval Latin sinus sine

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Statistics for cosine

Last Updated

28 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cosine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of cosine

geometry : the ratio between the long side (called the hypotenuse) and the side that is next to an acute angle in a right triangle

More from Merriam-Webster on cosine

Britannica English: Translation of cosine for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cosine


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