AskDefine | Define subtend

Dictionary Definition

subtend v : be opposite to; of angles and sides, in geometry [syn: delimit]

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. To extend or stretch underneath or opposite something

Usage notes

  • Used especially of a line opposite an angle, or an angle opposite an arc


Extensive Definition

In geometry, an arc subtended by an angle is a curve whose endpoints are on the angle's two rays. The precise meaning varies with the context. For example, one may speak of the arc of a circumference subtended by an angle whose vertex is a point on the circumference. A simple theorem of plane geometry states that equal angles subtend arcs of equal length in such a situation. The converse is also true: equal arc lengths subtend equal angles.
Similarly, a solid angle subtends a surface or a solid object. A solid angle is the area on a unit sphere cut out by the envelope of the vectors defining the perimeter of the surface or object. The solid angle delimited by a circular cone of opening angle (i.e. apex angle) θ is
2 \pi \left (1 - \cos \right).

See also

External links

subtend in Spanish: Subtendido

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

bump heads, confront, contend, contrapose, contraposit, contrast, counteract, face, front, lie opposite, match, meet head-on, oppose, polarize, pose against, put in opposition, set over against, stand opposed, stand opposite
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