go off on a tangent

Definition of go off on a tangent

:to start talking about something that is only slightly or indirectly related to the original subject
  • She went off on a tangent about what happened to her last summer.

Word by Word Definitions

go play
  1. : to move on a course : proceed — compare stop

  2. : to move out of or away from a place expressed or implied : leave, depart

  3. : to take a certain course or follow a certain procedure

  1. : the act or manner of going

  2. : the height of fashion : rage

  3. : an often unexpected turn of affairs : occurrence

  1. : functioning properly : being in good and ready condition

  1. : a game played between two players who alternately place black and white stones on a board checkered by 19 vertical lines and 19 horizontal lines in an attempt to enclose the larger area on the board

off play
  1. : from a place or position

  2. : at a distance in space or time

  3. : from a course : aside

  1. used as a function word to indicate physical separation or distance from a position of rest, attachment, or union

  2. : to seaward of

  3. : from the possession or charge of

  1. : seaward

  2. : right

  3. : more removed or distant

  1. : to go away : depart

  2. : kill, murder

  1. : competition : contest

tangent play
  1. : an abrupt change of course : digression

  2. : the trigonometric function that for an acute angle is the ratio between the leg opposite to the angle when it is considered part of a right triangle and the leg adjacent

  3. : a trigonometric function that is equal to the sine divided by the cosine for all real numbers θ for which the cosine is not equal to zero and is exactly equal to the tangent of an angle of measure θ in radians

  1. : meeting a curve or surface in a single point if a sufficiently small interval is considered

  2. : having a common tangent line at a point

  3. : having a common tangent plane at a point


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