subtend

verb sub·tend \ səb-ˈtend \

Definition of subtend

transitive verb
1 a :to be opposite to and extend from one side to the other of
  • a hypotenuse subtends a right angle
b :to fix the angular extent of with respect to a fixed point or object taken as the vertex
  • a central angle subtended by an arc
  • the angle subtended at the eye by an object of given width and a fixed distance away
c :to determine the measure of by marking off the endpoints of
  • a chord subtends an arc
2 a :to underlie so as to include
b :to occupy an adjacent and usually lower position to and often so as to embrace or enclose
  • a bract that subtends a flower

Recent Examples of subtend from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subtend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of subtend

Latin subtendere to stretch beneath, from sub- + tendere to stretch — more at thin


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