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 , 7 Dec. 2021 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 , 7 Dec. 2021 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 , 7 Dec. 2021 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 , 7 Dec. 2021 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 , 7 Dec. 2021 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 , 7 Dec. 2021 In Figure 2, the length of line segment OP is 1, and OQ, the hypotenuse of the triangle, is 3.5. Quanta Magazine, 25 Aug. 2021 In the diagram, line segment OP is 1, and the hypotenuse OQ is now 4.5. Quanta Magazine, 25 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of hypotenuse was in 1594

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Dictionary Entries Near hypotenuse

hypotensive

hypotenuse

hypothalamic

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Cite this Entry

“Hypotenuse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypotenuse. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for hypotenuse

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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