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Origin of the word?

  1. Nov 30, 2006 #1
    I know that cotangent is thus named because its the compliment of tangent, but where did Secant get its name?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2006 #2


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    According to this dictionary:

    ..from L. secantem (nom. secans) "cutting," prp. of secare "to cut" (see section). First used by Dan. mathematician Thomas Fincke in Geometria Rotundi (1583)."
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