tangential

[tan-jen-shuhl]
adjective
1.
pertaining to or of the nature of a tangent; being or moving in the direction of a tangent.
2.
merely touching; slightly connected: tangential information.
3.
divergent or digressive, as from a subject under consideration: tangential remarks.
4.
tending to digress or to reply to questions obliquely.
Also, tangental [tan-jen-tl] .


Origin:
1620–30; tangent + -ial

tangentiality, noun
tangentially, tangentally, adverb
nontangental, adjective
nontangential, adjective
nontangentially, adverb
untangental, adjective
untangentally, adverb
untangential, adjective
untangentially, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tangential
Collins
World English Dictionary
tangential (tænˈdʒɛnʃəl)
 
adj
1.  of, being, relating to, or in the direction of a tangent
2.  astronomy Compare radial Also: transverse (of velocity) in a direction perpendicular to the line of sight of a celestial object
3.  of superficial relevance only; digressive
 
tangenti'ality
 
n
 
tan'gentially
 
adv
 
tan'gentally
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tangential
1620s, see tangent; figurative sense of "divergent, erratic" is from 1787. Related: Tangentially.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Warm air at ground level enters via tangential inlets around the base of the
  wall.
For an infinitesimally thin surface element, stresses are tangential as radial
  stresses go to zero on the surface.
At this point there are many offshoot discussions and tangential topics being
  discussed on the skeptical blogs and elsewhere.
The framing of arguments around tangential concepts really muddies these
  comments.
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