Definition of tractrix in English:

Share this entry

tractrix

Pronunciation: /ˈtraktriks/

noun (plural tractrices /ˌtrakˈtrīsēz/ /ˈtraktrəˌsēz/)

Geometry
1A curve whose tangents all intercept the x-axis at the same distance from the point of contact, being the involute of a catenary.
Example sentences
  • Among the properties of the tractrix are the fact that the length of a tangent from its point of contact to an asymptote is constant.
1.1One of a class of curves similarly traced by one end of a rigid rod, whose other end moves along a fixed line or curve.
Example sentences
  • The tractrix is sometimes called a tractory or equitangential curve.
  • The concrete realisation uses the pseudosphere, a surface generated by the revolution of a tractrix about its asymptote.
  • The model was obtained on the surface of revolution of a tractrix about its asymptote.

Origin

Early 18th century: modern Latin, feminine of late Latin tractor 'that which pulls' (see tractor).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: trac·trix

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.