tangential

play
adjective tan·gen·tial \tan-ˈjen(t)-shəl\

Definition of tangential

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or of the nature of a tangent

  2. 2 :  acting along or lying in a tangent <tangential forces>

  3. 3a :  divergent, digressiveb :  touching lightly :  incidental, peripheral <tangential involvement>; also :  of little relevance <arguments tangential to the main point>

tangentially

play \-ˈjen(t)-sh(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of tangential in a sentence

  1. Their romance is tangential to the book's main plot.

Did You Know?

In geometry, a tangent is a straight line that touches a curve at a single point. So we say that someone who starts talking about one thing and gets sidetracked has gone off on a tangent. The new subject is tangential to the first subject—it touches it and moves off in a different direction.

1630

First Known Use of tangential

1630

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms


TANGENTIAL Defined for English Language Learners

tangential

play
adjective tan·gen·tial \tan-ˈjen(t)-shəl\

Definition of tangential for English Language Learners

  • : slightly or indirectly related to something : not closely connected to something

  • geometry : relating to a tangent : in or along a tangent



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