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

  • transitive v. Mathematics To be opposite to and delimit: The side of a triangle subtends the opposite angle.
  • transitive v. To underlie so as to enclose or surround: flowers subtended by leafy bracts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To extend or stretch underneath or opposite something
  • v. To enclose an arc on a circle with an angle

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To extend under, or be opposed to.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To extend under or be opposite to: a geometrical terra: as, the side of a triangle which subtends the right angle.
  • In botany, to embrace in its axil, as a leaf, bract, etc.: as, in many Compositæ the florets are subtended by bracts called chaff.

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

  • v. be opposite to; of angles and sides, in geometry


Latin subtendere, to extend underneath : sub-, sub- + tendere, to extend; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin subtendere; sub under + tendere to stretch, extend. See tend. (Wiktionary)



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  • It is the ability, first, to make a choice, to evaluate the consequences of that chosen course of action, and to prize the outcomes, and then it is the capacity to marshal one’s energy in effective pursuit of the consequences or goals subtended by that choice.

    December 31, 2010