Origin of catenaryClassical Latin catenarius ; from catena, chain
- The curve formed by a perfectly flexible, uniformly dense, and inextensible cable suspended from its endpoints. It is identical to the graph of a hyperbolic cosine.
- Something having the general shape of this curve.
Origin of catenaryNew Latin cat&emacron;naria, from Latin, feminine of cat&emacron;narius, relating to a chain, from cat&emacron;na, chain.
The equation for this catenary with a as the y-intercept is y = a2 (ex/a + e-x/a).
(comparative more catenary, superlative most catenary)
- Relating to a chain; like a chain.
- (geometry) The curve described by a flexible chain or a rope if it is supported at each end and is acted upon only by no other forces than a uniform gravitational force due to its own weight.
- (nautical) The curve of an anchor cable from the seabed to the vessel; it should be horizontal at the anchor so as to bury the flukes.
- A system of overhead power lines that provide trains, trolleys, buses, etc., with electricity, having a straight conductor wire and a bowed suspension cable.
From Late Latin catenaria, in turn from Latin catēna (“chain”). Attested since 1788.