Pronunciation: /ˈtæn dʒənt/ Explain

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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. www.archive.org. G. & J. Robinson. 1804. Last Accessed 1/21/2010. http://www.archive.org/stream/courseofmathemat02huttrich#page/2/mode/1up/search/cosecant. Buy the book

More Information

  • McAdams, David E. Cotangent. allmathwords.org. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. 3/12/2009. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/c/cotangent.html.

Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Tangent. 5/5/2011. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/t/tangent.html.

Image Credits

Revision History

12/31/2008: Added equations. (McAdams, David E.)
10/30/2008: Changed title to Tangent. (McAdams, David E.)
4/30/2008: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

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