Pronunciation: /ˈtæn dʒənt/ ?

Sorry, the GeoGebra Applet could not be started. Please make sure that Java 1.4.2 (or later) is installed and active in your browser (Click here to install Java now)
Manipulative 1: Tangent. Created with GeoGebra.

Tangent is defined to be equal to the length of the side opposite the angle divided by the length of the side adjacent to the angle of a right triangle. In manipulative 1, click on the blue points and drag them to change the figure.

tangent=opposite/adjacent; tangent=1/cotangent; y=tan^(-1)(x) if and only if x=tan(y)
Figure 1: Tangent equations.


  1. Hutton, Charles. A Course in Mathematics, Volume II, 4th edition, pg 2. G. & J. Robinson, 1804. (Accessed: 2010-01-21). http://www.archive.org/stream/courseofmathemat02huttrich#page/2/mode/1up/search/cosecant.
  2. tangent. http://wordnet.princeton.edu/. WordNet. Princeton University. (Accessed: 2011-01-08). http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=tangent&sub=Search+WordNet&o2=&o0=1&o7=&o5=&o1=1&o6=&o4=&o3=&h=.

More Information

  • McAdams, David. Cotangent. allmathwords.org. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. 2009-03-12. http://www.allmathwords.org/article.aspx?lang=en&id=Cotangent.

Cite this article as:

Tangent. 2008-12-31. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/t/tangent.html.


Image Credits

Revision History

2008-12-31: Added equations (McAdams, David.)
2008-10-30: Changed title to Tangent (McAdams, David.)
2008-04-30: Initial version (McAdams, David.)

All Math Words Encyclopedia is a service of Life is a Story Problem LLC.
Copyright © 2005-2011 Life is a Story Problem LLC. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License