Abscissa Definition

abscissae, abscissas
The coordinate representing the position of a point along a line perpendicular to the y -axis in a plane Cartesian coordinate system.
American Heritage
The horizontal Cartesian coordinate on a plane, measured from the y-axis along a line parallel with the x-axis to point P.
Webster's New World
The definition of an abscissa is the horizontal coordinate on a geometric plane.
An example of an abscissa is the measurement along the y-axis parallel with the x-axis to point p.

(geometry) The first of the two terms by which a point is referred to, in a system of fixed rectilinear coordinate (Cartesian coordinate) axes. The abscissa is also known as the "x" coordinate of a point, shown on the horizontal line, with the ordinate, also known as the "y" coordinate, shown on the vertical line. [First attested in the late 17th century.]

The point has 3 as its abscissa and 2 as its ordinate.
The distance of a point from the y-axis on a graph in the Cartesian coordinate system. It is measured parallel to the x-axis. For example, a point having coordinates (2,3) has 2 as its abscissa.
American Heritage Science

Other Word Forms of Abscissa


abscissae, abscissas

Origin of Abscissa

  • New Latin (līnea) abscissa (line) cut off from Latin abscissa feminine past participle of abscindere to abscise abscission

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin abscissa, feminine of abscissus, perfect passive participle of abscindō (“cut off”). See abscind.

    From Wiktionary


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