Definition of tangential in English:

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Pronunciation: /tanˈdʒɛnʃ(ə)l/


1Relating to or along a tangent: a tangential line
More example sentences
  • If you are located near the very edge of the eclipse track the apparent disks of the Sun and the Moon glide along the same tangential line.
  • Second, we have examined perturbations in a normal rather than a tangential direction along the limit cycle.
  • His work used a special coordinate system on a surface such as isothermic and tangential coordinates.
2Diverging from a previous course or line; erratic: tangential thoughts
More example sentences
  • He generally relates the story in chronological fashion, but, like many storytellers, he often stops to present tangential information about a new character or situation.
  • I don't have any suggestions for places, but thought I'd offer some tangential information: there are all kinds of prenatal massages, so make sure you get all the info beforehand.
  • Barreto did a fair job of explaining the process of making this movie, but he often got sidetracked onto more tangential anecdotes.
2.1Hardly touching a matter; peripheral: the reforms were tangential to efforts to maintain a basic standard of life
More example sentences
  • These are all important matters but they are tangential to the most central objectives of school education, namely teaching and learning.
  • He makes the case for the artist as the most influential post-war musical artist, certainly more so than Elvis, who was influential for reasons tangential to the actual music.
  • Though tangential to the main thesis, this book also serves as an excellent briefing for the general reader on the often uninspiring and sometimes off-putting technical language of the financial world.

Words that rhyme with tangential

cadential, confidential, consequential, credential, deferential, differential, essential, evidential, existential, experiential, exponential, influential, intelligential, irreverential, jurisprudential, penitential, pestilential, potential, preferential, presidential, providential, prudential, quintessential, referential, residential, reverential, sapiential, sciential, sentential, sequential, torrential

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tan¦gen|tial

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