osculating circle


Definition of osculating circle

: a circle which is tangent to a curve at a given point, which lies in the limiting plane determined by the tangent to the curve and a point moving along the curve to the point of tangency, which has its center situated on the normal to the curve at the given point and, also, on the concave side of the projection of the curve onto the limiting plane, and which has a radius equal to the radius of curvature

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of osculating circle

1816, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about osculating circle

Time Traveler for osculating circle

Time Traveler

The first known use of osculating circle was in 1816

See more words from the same year

Statistics for osculating circle

Cite this Entry

“Osculating circle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/osculating%20circle. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!