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secant (n.)

1590s, from Latin secantem (nominative secans) "a cutting," present participle of secare "to cut" (from PIE root *sek- "to cut"). First used by Danish mathematician Thomas Fincke in "Geometria Rotundi" (1583).

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Definitions of secant from WordNet

secant (n.)
a straight line that intersects a curve at two or more points;
secant (n.)
ratio of the hypotenuse to the adjacent side of a right-angled triangle;
Synonyms: sec
From wordnet.princeton.edu