verb sub·tend \səb-ˈtend\

Definition of subtend

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to be opposite to and extend from one side to the other of a hypotenuse subtends a right angleb :  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 awayc :  to determine the measure of by marking off the endpoints of a chord subtends an arc

  3. 2a :  to underlie so as to includeb :  to occupy an adjacent and usually lower position to and often so as to embrace or enclose a bract that subtends a flower

Origin and Etymology of subtend

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

First Known Use: circa 1560

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to cast off or become cast off

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