[hahy-pot-n-oos, -yoos]
noun Geometry.
the side of a right triangle opposite the right angle.

1565–75; earlier hypotenusa < Latin hypotēnūsa < Greek hypoteínousa (grámmē) subtending (line) (feminine present participle of hypoteínein to subtend), equivalent to hypo- hypo- + tein- stretch (see thin) + -ousa feminine present participle suffix

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World English Dictionary
hypotenuse (haɪˈpɒtɪˌnjuːz)
hyp the side in a right-angled triangle that is opposite the right angle
[C16: from Latin hypotēnūsa, from Greek hupoteinousa grammē subtending line, from hupoteinein to subtend, from hypo- + teinein to stretch]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1571, from L.L. hypotenusa, from Gk. hypoteinousa "stretching under" (the right angle), fem. prp. of hypoteinein, from hypo- "under" (see sub-) + teinein "to stretch" (see tenet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
hypotenuse   (hī-pŏt'n-s')  Pronunciation Key 
The side of a right triangle opposite the right angle. It is the longest side, and the square of its length is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the other two sides.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
hypotenuse [(heye-pot-n-oohs, heye-pot-n-yoohs)]

In a right triangle (a triangle that has one right angle), the side opposite the right angle. (See Pythagorean theorem.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

hypotenuse definition

The side of a right-angled triangle opposite the right angle.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
The hypotenuse of a right triangle is not always the shortest distance between the two points that define it.
The square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other
  two sides.
Find the areas of the squares on the legs and on the hypotenuse.
Ask a participant to construct a square on each leg and then on the hypotenuse
  of the triangle.
Image for hypotenuse
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