One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1In a way that relates only slightly to a matter; peripherally.‘the narrative deals only tangentially with marriage’‘companies connected either directly or tangentially to the music business’
- ‘The film festival wasn't aimed at conflict issues, but issues do work their way in, if only tangentially.’
- ‘Many of the book's strongest elements are only tangentially concerned with music.’
- ‘The movie tells a number of different stories, most of which connect tangentially.’
- ‘No interview can proceed without hyperactive jump cuts to tangentially relevant footage or airplanes, cars or food.’
- ‘Blogs now cover a miscellany of culinary topics, sometimes only tangentially related to food.’
2In the manner, position, or direction of a tangent.‘the line is oriented tangentially along the epidermal cell layer’
- ‘The structure grows tangentially from the architect's angular building, with a curve that rises and boomerangs back toward the entry.’
- ‘For stability, planks should be cut radially, from the centre; tangentially cut boards are more likely to warp.’
- ‘An electric current passing through a flat, handheld insulated coil that is placed tangentially on the scalp generates a magnetic field.’
- ‘The inner cells of the protective tissue are younger and smaller while the outer cells are older, larger and more stretched tangentially.’
- ‘A free kick found him on the run moving tangentially to the goal, and he was able to redirect the flight with an outstanding header.’
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