[suhb-tend, suhb-]
verb (used with object)
Geometry. to extend under or be opposite to: a chord subtending an arc.
Botany. (of a leaf, bract, etc.) to occur beneath or close to.
to form or mark the outline or boundary of.

1560–70; < Latin subtendere to stretch beneath, equivalent to sub- sub- + tendere to stretch; see tend1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
subtend (səbˈtɛnd)
1.  geometry to be opposite to and delimit (an angle or side)
2.  (of a bract, stem, etc) to have (a bud or similar part) growing in its axil
3.  to mark off
4.  to underlie; be inherent in
[C16: from Latin subtendere to extend beneath, from sub- + tendere to stretch out]

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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Word Origin & History

1570, from L. subtendere, from sub "under" + tendere "to stretch" (see tenet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The inflorescence is enclosed by a spathe of one or two scale leaves which subtend the first two flowers.
The two monsters, nevertheless being exactly the same size in the drawing, subtend the same visual angle at the eye.
One or more series of bracts that subtend a flower or inflorescence.
The flowers consist of four bracts which subtend the small head of yellow flowers.
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