American Dictionary of the English Language

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SE'CANT, adjective [L. secans, seco, to cut or cut off, coinciding with Eng. saw.] Cutting; dividing into two parts.

SE'CANT, noun

1. In geometry, a line that cuts another, or divides it into parts. The secant of a circle is a line drawn from the circumference on one side, to a point without the circumference on the other, In trigonometry, a secant is a right line drawn from the center of a circle, which, cutting the circumference, proceeds till it meets with a tangent to the same circle.

2. In trigonometry, the secant of an arc is a right line drawn from the center through one end of the arc, and terminated by a tangent drawn through the other end.