from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Variant of hypotenuse.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The side of a right triangle opposite the right angle.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Same as hypotenuse.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
This exercise also offers a very evident control of error, for the regularity of the decreasing length of the stairs along the hypothenuse will be altered if the rods are not properly placed.
Let a man of good parts know all the maxims generally made use of in mathematics ever so perfectly, and contemplate their extent and consequences as much as he pleases, he will, by their assistance, I suppose, scarce ever come to know that the square of the hypothenuse in a right-angled triangle is equal to the squares of the two other sides.
And it is reported that Pythagoras, upon the discovery of this problem, offered a sacrifice to the gods; for this is a much more exquisite theorem than that which lays down, that the square of the hypothenuse in a right-angled triangle is equal to the squares of the two sides.
That the square of the hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.
That the square of the hypothenuse is equal to the squares of the other two sides, cannot be known, let the terms be ever so exactly defined, without a train of reasoning and enquiry.
He loved nothing better than a vertical path; but this way seemed indefinitely prolonged, and instead of sliding along the hypothenuse as we were now doing, he would willingly have dropped down the terrestrial radius.
The symbol of universal nature among the Egyptians was the right-angled triangle, of which the perpendicular side represented Osiris, or the male principle; the base, Isis, or the female principle; and the hypothenuse, their offspring, Horus, or the world emanating from the union of both principles.
It is said to have been discovered by Pythagoras while in Egypt, but was most probably taught to him by the priests of that country, in whose rites he had been initiated; it is a symbol of the production of the world by the generative and prolific powers of the Creator; hence the Egyptians made the perpendicular and base the representatives of Osiris and Isis, while the hypothenuse represented their child Horus.
For the geometrical proposition being that the squares of the perpendicular and base are equal to the square of the hypothenuse, they may be said to produce it in the same way as Osiris and Isis are equal to, or produce, the world.
Thus the perpendicular -- Osiris, or the active, male principle -- being represented by a line whose measurement is 3; and the base -- Isis, or the passive, female principle -- by a line whose measurement is 4; then their union, or the addition of the squares of these numbers, will produce a square whose root will be the hypothenuse, or a line whose measurement must be 5.
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