In math, the term “tangent” is used in both trigonometry and geometry. In trigonometry, tangent is one of the primary trigonometric functions. In geometry, a tangent refers to a straight line or plane that touches a curve at a single point without crossing through it at that point.

Related Terms

Right Triangle

A right triangle (or right-angled triangle) is a triangle in which one of the angles is a right angle (90 degrees). The side opposite the right angle is called the hypotenuse, and it is the longest side. The other two sides are known as the adjacent and opposite sides, relative to the non-right angle being referenced.


An angle is a measure of rotation or turning and is usually measured in degrees or radians. In geometry, an angle is the figure formed by two rays, called the sides of the angle, sharing a common endpoint, called the vertex. The size of an angle is determined by the amount of rotation from one ray to the other.