Definition of catenary in English:

Share this entry

catenary

Pronunciation: /ˈkad(ə)nerē/

noun (plural catenaries)

1A curve formed by a wire, rope, or chain hanging freely from two points and forming a U shape: [as modifier]: a catenary wire
More example sentences
  • A catenary is the curve describing a rope or chain hanging loosely between two fixed points.
  • Other topics which Adrain wrote about include a study of the catenary, and other curves which he called isotomous.
  • While others in the profession worked with straight edges, Gaudi invented his own methods for modeling parabolic arches from the catenary curve created by suspending a length of chain between two points.
1.1A wire, rope, or chain forming a catenary.
Example sentences
  • I later found out that the problem was a transformer fire in the Bronx, which resulted in a loss of power to the overhead catenary along the Hell Gate Bridge line.
  • To add certainty to these movements, the officers used the cables of the RENFE catenary and the mountains in the background as a point of reference.
  • On the way, we passed underneath the METRA line we had ridden earlier, over a waterway, past the Skokie Shops, and experienced a power change as the train switched from third rail to overhead catenary power.

Origin

Mid 18th century: from Latin catenarius 'relating to a chain', from catena 'chain'.

Words that rhyme with catenary

beanery, bicentenary, centenary, deanery, greenery, machinery, plenary, scenery, senary, septenary

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cat·e·nar·y

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.