Definition of abscissa in English:

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Pronunciation: /abˈsisə/

noun (plural abscissae /-ˈsisē/ or abscissas)

Image of abscissa
(In a system of coordinates) the x-coordinate, the distance from a point to the vertical or y-axis measured parallel to the horizontal or x-axis. Compare with ordinate.
Example sentences
  • Open and closed time histograms were plotted using a logarithmic abscissa and a square root ordinate and fitted to the sum of exponential functions by maximal likelihood using the program TACFit (Bruxton Corporation, Seattle, WA).
  • That is to say, the intercepts on the abscissa and the ordinate should be higher for isocline 2 at x = 1.
  • Plotted on the abscissa of the graph are the incompatibility values or the proportions of informative sites incompatible with the particular clade in the set of artificially generated sequences.


Early 17th century (denoting the part of a line between a point on it and the point of intersection with an ordinate): from modern Latin abscissa (linea) 'cutoff (line)', feminine past participle of abscindere (see abscission).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ab·scis·sa

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