Circle with Secant

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A secant is “a line which cuts a figure in any way. Specifically, in trigonometry, a line from the center of a circle through one extremity of an arc (whose secant it is said to be) to the tangent from the other extremity of the same arc; or the ratio of this line to the radius; the reciprocal of the cosine. The ratio of AB to AD is the secant of the angle A; and AB is the secant of the arc CD.” —Whitney, 1889


William Dwight Whitney, PhD, LLD The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language (New York, NY: The Century Co., 1895) 5451


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