## Definition of tangent

**:**an abrupt change of course

**:**digression

- the speaker went off on a tangent

**:**the trigonometric function that for an acute angle is the ratio between the leg opposite to the angle when it is considered part of a right triangle and the leg adjacent

**:**a trigonometric function that is equal to the sine divided by the cosine for all real numbers θ for which the cosine is not equal to zero and is exactly equal to the tangent of an angle of measure θ in radians

**:**a line that is tangent; specifically

**:**a straight line that is the limiting position of a secant of a curve through a fixed point and a variable point on the curve as the variable point approaches the fixed point

**:**a small upright flat-ended metal pin at the inner end of a clavichord key that strikes the string to produce the tone