one of a group of curves formed by the intersection of a plane and a right circular cone. It is either a circle, ellipse, parabola, or hyperbola, depending on the eccentricity, e, which is constant for a particular curve e = 0 for a circle; e<1 for an ellipse; e = 1 for a parabola; e>1 for a hyperbola Often shortened to conic
conic section A curve formed by the intersection of a plane with a cone. Conic sections can appear as circles, ellipses, hyperbolas, or parabolas, depending on the angle of the intersecting plane relative to the cone's base.