noun, plural abscissas, abscissae [ab-sis-ee] . Mathematics.
(in plane Cartesian coordinates) the x-coordinate of a point: its distance from the y-axis measured parallel to the x-axis.
Compare ordinate.

1690–1700; feminine of Latin abscissus (past participle of abscindere to abscind)

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World English Dictionary
abscissa (æbˈsɪsə)
n , pl -scissas, -scissae
Compare ordinate the horizontal or x-coordinate of a point in a two-dimensional system of Cartesian coordinates. It is the distance from the y-axis measured parallel to the x-axis
[C17: New Latin, originally linea abscissa a cut-off line]

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Word Origin & History

1690s, from L. abscissa (linea) "(a line) cut off," from fem. pp. of abscindere "to cut off," from ab- "off, away" + scindere "to cut" (see shed (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
abscissa   (āb-sĭs'ə)  Pronunciation Key 

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Plural abscissas or abscissae (āb-sĭs'ē)
The distance of a point from the y-axis on a graph in the Cartesian coordinate system. It is measured parallel to the x-axis. For example, a point having coordinates (2,3) has 2 as its abscissa. Compare ordinate.
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