[ US /tænˈdʒɛnʃəɫ/ ]
[ UK /tænd‍ʒˈɛnʃə‍l/ ]
  1. of superficial relevance if any
    a tangential remark
    a digressive allusion to the day of the week
  2. of or relating to or acting along or in the direction of a tangent
    tangential forces
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How To Use tangential In A Sentence

  • So much the better if you have a cache of slightly obscure references that you can dispense, especially if these bear only tangential relationship to what you are discussing.
  • In a number of orchid species, the outer tangential walls of short cells have numerous wall ingrowths that greatly expand the surface area of the plasma membrane and, thus, resemble transfer cells.
  • The second exception comes into play if the rationale underlying the patent holder's argument bears only a tangential relation to the equivalent.
  • In this case we deal with the situation of a local tangential force applied to the surface of a large body.
  • Over the years I'd become accustomed to Molly and her tangential thinking. THE MANANA MAN
  • He generally relates the story in chronological fashion, but, like many storytellers, he often stops to present tangential information about a new character or situation.
  • Tangential factoids, unrhymed chiming, and wanton speculation: New York Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani is somehat, er, somewhat known for her frequent use of the word limn, apparently it's an inside joke among writers and critics. Languagehat.com: THE PERILS OF A FANCY VOCABULARY.
  • Unfortunately, his name is often most closely identified with these works that actually are only tangential to his primary concerns.
  • By juxtaposing these elements, he not only achieves a variety in his compositions, but also employs means provided by a stark contrast in his experience as a tangentially urbanised painter.
  • So, if planes A and D are tangential, how can planes C and B be tangential?
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