# secant

se·cant cutting; intersecting

Origin of secant

Classical Latin*secans*, present participle of

*secare*, to cut: see saw

- Geom. any straight line intersecting a curve at two or more points
- Trigonometry the reciprocal of the cosine; specif.,
- the ratio of the hypotenuse to the adjacent side of a given acute angle in a right triangle
- an equivalent, positive or negative ratio for certain related angles (Ex.: the secant of 57° or 303° is 1.8362, of 123° or 237° is ?1.8362) or real numbers representing radians (Ex.: the secant of .9948 radians (57°) is 1.8362)

## secant

noun

*Abbr.*

**sec**

**a.**A straight line intersecting a curve at two or more points.**b.**The straight line drawn from the center through one end of a circular arc and intersecting the tangent to the other end of the arc.**c.**The ratio of the length of this line to the length of the radius of the circle.- The reciprocal of the cosine of an angle in a right triangle.

Origin of secant

*From*Latin

*secāns*

*secant-*

*present participle of*

*secāre*

*to cut*; see

*sek-*in Indo-European roots.

**secant**

## secant

Noun

(*plural* secants)

- (geometry) A straight line that intersects a curve at two or more points.
- (trigonometry) In a right triangle, the reciprocal of the cosine of an angle. Symbol: sec

Origin

From Latin *secans*, present participle of *secare* (“to cut")