# Secant meaning

sēkănt, -kənt
The reciprocal of the cosine of an angle in a right triangle.
noun
Cutting; intersecting.
adjective
Any straight line intersecting a curve at two or more points.
noun
The reciprocal of the cosine.
• 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).
noun
A straight line or ray that intersects a curve, especially a circle, at two or more points.
Advertisement
The ratio of the length of the hypotenuse in a right triangle to the side adjacent to an acute angle. The secant is the inverse of the cosine.
The reciprocal of 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 secant of an angle whose measure in radians is equal to x.
(geometry) A straight line that intersects a curve at two or more points.
noun
(trigonometry) In a right triangle, the reciprocal of the cosine of an angle. Symbol: sec.
noun
Advertisement

## Origin of secant

• From Latin secāns secant- present participle of secāre to cut sek- in Indo-European roots

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

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