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trigonometric function, 1590s (in Thomas Fale's "Horologiographia, the Art of Dialling"), from Latin sinus "fold in a garment, bend, curve, bosom" (see sinus). Used mid-12c. by Gherardo of Cremona in Medieval Latin translation of Arabic geometrical text to render Arabic jiba "chord of an arc, sine" (from Sanskrit jya "bowstring"), which he confused with jaib "bundle, bosom, fold in a garment."