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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Tangential'

Tangential Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    tangential adj
  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

  • Ricky Eat Acid
    The new one from Baltimore’s Sam Ray aka Ricky Eat Acid is distracted, tangential, ambient music, made not for airports or films à la some big-brain composer-type like Brian Eno, but for the wonderfully quotidian (song titles include “Driving Alone Past Roadwork at Night” and “In Rural Virginia; Watching Glowing Lights Crawl from the Dark Corners of the R Read more on this news related to 'Tangential'
  • 2014 High Desert Mavericks Preview
    Hello and welcome back to the second installment of oh crap I’m only halfway finished. Among tangential meanderings in this round, games common to carnivals and fairs, pitchers of limited archetypes, forces of nature, Latin American magical realism... Read more on this news related to 'Tangential'

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