Tangent

Adjective

  • Of a topic, only loosely related to a main topic.
  • (geometry) Touching a curve at a single point but not crossing it at that point.

Noun

  • (geometry) A straight line touching a curve at a single point without crossing it there.
  • A small metal blade by which a clavichord produces sound.
  • A topic nearly unrelated to the main topic, but having a point in common with it.

    "I believe we went off onto a tangent when we started talking about monkeys on unicycles at his retirement party."

  • (trigonometry) In a right triangle, the ratio of the length of the side opposite the angle to the length of the side adjacent to the angle. Symbols: tan, tg

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