hypotenuse

noun
hy·​pot·​e·​nuse | \ hī-ˈpä-tə-ˌnüs How to pronounce hypotenuse (audio) , -ˌnyüz \
variants: or less commonly hypothenuse \ hī-​ˈpä-​thə-​ˌnüs How to pronounce hypotenuse (audio) , -​ˌnyüz \

Definition of hypotenuse

1 : the side of a right-angled triangle that is opposite the right angle
2 : the length of a hypotenuse

Illustration of hypotenuse

Illustration of hypotenuse

ac hypotenuse

Examples of hypotenuse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Witness file storage, which are fitted inside the unit one evening just as the building is closing, with great effort and much fighting, owing to the hypotenuse problem, which is often forgotten. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's Magazine, 15 Sep. 2020 When the triangle has a right angle, the square of the hypotenuse is always equal to the sum of the squares of the two shorter sides. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 2 June 2020 The triangle has a base 4 units long, a vertical side 3 units long and a hypotenuse 5 units long going from upper left to lower right. Quanta Magazine, 17 Jan. 2020 The triangle has a base 4 units long, a vertical side 3 units long and a hypotenuse 5 units long going from upper left to lower right. Quanta Magazine, 17 Jan. 2020 More Math All of these points will follow the same Pythagorean formula, where the height of the rung is the hypotenuse. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 11 Mar. 2020 The triangle has a base 4 units long, a vertical side 3 units long and a hypotenuse 5 units long going from upper left to lower right. Quanta Magazine, 17 Jan. 2020 The triangle has a base 4 units long, a vertical side 3 units long and a hypotenuse 5 units long going from upper left to lower right. Quanta Magazine, 17 Jan. 2020 The man addressed me over the cliff of his shoulder—talked down to me in the same condescending way Mister Hughes explained polynomials and hypotenuses. Douglas Stuart, The New Yorker, 6 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hypotenuse.' 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 hypotenuse

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hypotenuse

earlier hypothenusa, hypothenuse, borrowed from Latin hypotēnūsa, borrowed from Greek hypoteínousa, noun derivative (with grammḗ "line" or pleurá "side" understood) from feminine of hypoteínōn, present participle of hypoteínein "to stretch under, put under, subtend," from hypo- hypo- + teínein "to stretch, extend" — more at tenant entry 1

Note: The nominal use of hypoteínousa in Greek is apparent in passages such as the following, from the Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus of Naucratis (10.13), where "line/lines" or "side/sides" are understood: "Apollódōros dè ho arithmētikòs kaì thûsaí phēsin autòn hekatómbēn epì tôi eurēkenai hóti trigṓnou orthogōníou [he] tḕn orthḕn gōnían hypoteínousa íson dýnatai taîs periechoúsais …." ("And Apollodorus the Calculator says that he [Pythagoras] even sacrificed a hecatomb when he discovered that in a right-angled triangle the [square of the] line subtending ("hypoteínousa") the right angle is equal to [the square of] the lines embracing it.)"

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Time Traveler for hypotenuse

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The first known use of hypotenuse was in 1594

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Cite this Entry

“Hypotenuse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypotenuse. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for hypotenuse

hypotenuse

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hypotenuse

mathematics : the long side opposite the right angle of a triangle

hypotenuse

noun
hy·​pot·​e·​nuse | \ hī-ˈpä-tə-ˌnüs How to pronounce hypotenuse (audio) , -ˌnyüz \

Kids Definition of hypotenuse

: the side of a right triangle that is opposite the right angle

More from Merriam-Webster on hypotenuse

Nglish: Translation of hypotenuse for Spanish Speakers

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