# Tangential

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### Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Tangential'

Tangential Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
1. of superficial relevance if any; "a digressive allusion to the day of the week"; "a tangential remark" [syn: digressive]
2. of or relating to or acting along or in the direction of a tangent; "tangential forces"
Tangential Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
Tangential \Tan*gen"tial\, a. (Geom.) Of or pertaining to a tangent; in the direction of a tangent. Tangential force (Mech.), a force which acts on a moving body in the direction of a tangent to the path of the body, its effect being to increase or diminish the velocity; -- distinguished from a normal force, which acts at right angles to the tangent and changes the direction of the motion without changing the velocity. Tangential stress. (Engin.) See Shear, n., 3.
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### Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Tangential'

In geometry, the tangent line (or simply the tangent) to a curve at a given point is the straight line that "just touches" the curve at that point (in the sense explained more precisely below). As it passes through the point where the tangent line and the curve meet, or the point of tangency, the tangent line is "going in the same direction" as the curve, and in this sense it is the best straight-line approximation to the curve at that point. The same definition applies to space curves and curves in n-dimensional Euclidean space.

Similarly, the tangent plane to a surface at a given point is the plane that "just touches" the surface at that point. The concept of a tangent is one of the most fundamental notions in differential geometry and has been extensively generalized; see Tangent space.

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### Tangential Sample Sentences in News

• Sean Avery reportedly joins the cast of Dancing With the Stars
Dancing with the Stars already got an injection of sports for its next season, with longtime host Brooke Burke-Charvet stepping aside for sports reporter Erin Andrews. There was even a tangential connection to hockey, since Andrews dates Los Angeles Kings … Continue reading → Read more on this news related to 'Tangential'
• Introducing: SXSC
As anyone with any tangential relationship to the music industry knows all too well, that annual bacchanal of new bands, old bands, publicists, journalists and some learning, South by Southwest, begins next week in Austin. A few years ago, our former music editor, Aaron Jentzen, took a trip down and reported back ; this year, freelancer Julia Cook is making the tr Read more on this news related to 'Tangential'
• 'Obamacare' isn't as bad – or good – as you've heard
As someone who works to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I'm tired of debating it: The public debate has become tangential to the reality of the law. I resort to well-trodden but important points: America is the only industrialized country that does not guarantee health care for all its citizens; "Health care law projected to cut the labor force&q Read more on this news related to 'Tangential'