Secant of a Circumference

The secant of a circumference is the line that passes through two points on the circumference. In turn, the circumference is defined as the set of points that are located at the same distance from a fixed point called the center.

Here, we will learn about the most important details of the secants of circumferences. We will also see what are the differences between secants, strings, and tangents.

PRECALCULUS
diagram of a secant of a circumference

Relevant for

Learning about the secant of a circumference.

See definition

PRECALCULUS
diagram of a secant of a circumference

Relevant for

Learning about the secant of a circumference.

See definition

Definition of the secant of a circle

The secant of a circle is defined as the line that intersects the circle at two different points. The word “secant” comes from the Latin word “secare” which means “to cut”. In this case, the secant “cuts” the circumference.

Secants have one part that is inside the circumference and two parts that extend outside the circumference.

diagram of a secant of a circumference

Difference between secant and chord

A secant is a line that intersects the circumference at two different points, while a chord is a segment that meets the circumference at two points. The main difference is that the secants can be extended on both sides, but the chords cannot be extended.

Parts of the secant are located inside the circumference and parts of the secant are located outside the circumference. On the other hand, the chords are located completely within the circumference.

difference between secant and chord

Difference between secant and tangent

Secants are lines that intersect the circumferences at two different points, while tangents are lines that meet the circumference at a single point. Both the secant and the tangent can be extended to both sides.

However, unlike secants that have parts that are located inside the circumference and parts that are located outside, tangents are located completely outside the circumferences.

difference between secant and tangent

See also

Interested in learning more about circles and circumferences? Take a look at these pages:

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