cotangent[kō tan′jənt, kō′tan′-]
- the ratio of the adjacent side of a given acute angle in a right triangle to the opposite side
- an equivalent, positive or negative ratio for certain related angles (Ex.: the cotangent of 57° or 237° is .6494, of 123° or 303° is −.6494) or real numbers representing radians (Ex.: the cotangent of .9948 radians (57°) is .6494)
Origin: Modern Latin cotangens ; from co. tangens, short for complementi tangens, literally , tangent of the complement
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun Abbr. cot
- The reciprocal of the tangent of an angle in a right triangle.
- The tangent of the complement of a directed angle or arc.
- coˌtan·genˈtial adjective
cot Θ= b/a
cotangent - Science Definition
- The ratio of the length of the adjacent side of an acute angle in a right triangle to the length of the opposite side. The cotangent is the inverse of the tangent.
- The ratio of the ordinate to the abscissa of the endpoint of an arc of a unit circle centered at the origin of a Cartesian coordinate system, the arc being of length x and measured counterclockwise from the point (1, 0) if x is positive or clockwise if x is negative.
- A function of a number x, equal to the cotangent of an angle whose measure in radians is equal to x.
Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.