Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The ordinate of the endpoint of an arc of a unit circle centered at the origin of a Cartesian coordinate system, the arc being of length x and measured counterclockwise from the point (1, 0) if x is positive or clockwise if x is negative.
  • n. In a right triangle, the ratio of the length of the side opposite an acute angle to the length of the hypotenuse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In a right triangle, the ratio of the length of the side opposite an angle to the length of the hypotenuse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The length of a perpendicular drawn from one extremity of an arc of a circle to the diameter drawn through the other extremity.
  • n. The perpendicular itself. See Sine of angle, below.
  • prep. Without.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • After that; afterward: same as since, 1.
  • Before now; ago: same as since, 3: as, lang syne, long ago, used also as a noun, especially in the phrase auld langsyne, old times (see langsyne).
  • After; since: same as since.
  • n. A gulf.
  • n. In trigonometry, formerly, with reference to any arc of a circle, the line drawn from one extremity of the arc at right angles to the diameter which passes through its other extremity; now ordinarily, with reference not to the arc but to the angle which it subtends at the center of the circle, the ratio of the aforesaid line to the radius of the circle.
  • n. the function expressed by the series These functions were invented by Wronski.
  • To strain.
  • To leave off milking a cow.
  • A Latin preposition, signifying ‘without.’ See sine die, sine qua non.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. ratio of the length of the side opposite the given angle to the length of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle

Etymologies

Medieval Latin sinus (mistranslation of Arabic jayb, sine, as if jayb, fold in a garment), from Latin, curve, fold.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin sinus, originally by mistranslation of Arabic جب (jubb). Ultimately from Sanskrit. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • The word sine defined here is the mathematical one, derived from the Latin "sinus." Most of the examplea given are uses of the unrelated Latin word "sine," meaning "without." "Sine qua non" "sine die," etc. appear a lot more frequently in literature than the mathematical term "sine." Nevettheless, there are those of us who know the difference, who have studied both mathematics and Latin, and so i would hope that this site would remove the passages that contain the Latin "sine" from this entry.

    January 26, 2010

  • Could someone enlighten me as to whether or not sine in the Latin sense of "without" is also pronounced /saɪn/? Thanks.

    Edit: I hope the program is right: http://www.dict.cc/?s=sine qua non

    I now have access to the online OED, I'm so ecstatic!
    OED says: /'saɪnɪ/ or /'sɪneɪ/

    October 6, 2008