From Latin subtendere, from sub (“under”) + tendere (“to stretch, extend”). See tend.
subtend (third-person singular simple present subtends, present participle subtending, simple past and past participle subtended)
- (transitive, mathematics) To use an angle to delimit (mark off, enclose) part of a straight or curved line, for example an arc or the opposite side of a triangle.
- A 43° angle subtends an arc of about 0.75 meters on a circle with a radius of 1 meter.
- (transitive, also mathematics) To extend or stretch opposite something; to be part of a straight or curved line that is opposite to and delimits an angle.
- A hypotenuse subtends the right angle of a right triangle.
- An arc measuring about 0.75 meters on a circle with a radius of 1 meter subtends an angle of about 43°.
- 2012, Me, myself, us,The Economist, 16th August 2012 issue
- ...trillions of bacteria, each equally an individual, which are found in a person’s gut, his mouth, his scalp, his skin and all of the crevices and orifices that subtend from his body’s surface.
- (transitive, mathematics) To form the central angle of a circle underneath an arc
- The points A and B on the circumference form the arc AB, which subtends the central angle θ.
to use an angle to delimit part of a straight or curved line
to extend or stretch opposite something, often to delimit an angle