cotangent

noun
co·​tan·​gent | \ (ˌ)kō-ˈtan-jənt How to pronounce cotangent (audio) , ˈkō-ˌtan- \

Definition of cotangent

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 leg opposite
2 : a trigonometric function cot θ that is equal to the cosine divided by the sine for all real numbers θ for which the sine is not equal to zero and is exactly equal to the cotangent of an angle of measure θ in radians

First Known Use of cotangent

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cotangent

New Latin cotangent-, cotangens, from co- + tangent-, tangens tangent

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cotangent

Time Traveler for cotangent

Time Traveler

The first known use of cotangent was in 1635

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cotangent

Cite this Entry

“Cotangent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cotangent. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on cotangent

Britannica English: Translation of cotangent for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cotangent

Comments on cotangent

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!