secant: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (sē'kant, -kunt), [key]
— n.
  1. an intersecting line, esp. one intersecting a curve at two or more points.
    1. (in a right triangle) the ratio of the hypotenuse to the side adjacent to a given angle.
    2. (originally) a line from the center of a circle through one extremity of an arc to the tangent from the other extremity.
    3. the ratio of the length of this line to that of the radius of the circle; the reciprocal of the cosine of a given angle or arc. Abbr.: sec
  1. cutting or intersecting, as one line or surface in relation to another.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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