Etymology of the Word RectangleDate: 02/07/2003 at 18:57:04 From: Antoinette Subject: Rectangles Where does the word "rectangle" come from? Date: 02/08/2003 at 11:18:52 From: Doctor Sarah Subject: Re: Rectangles Hi Antoinette - thanks for writing to Dr. Math. From Steven Schwartzman's _The Words of Mathematics - An Etymological Dictionary of Mathematical Terms Used in English_ (1994, Mathematical Association of America): rectangle (noun), rectangular (adjective): from Latin rectangulus "right-angled," a literal translation of Greek orthogonios. The first component is from Latin rectus "straight, upright, perpendicular," from the Indo-European root reg- "to move in a straight line"; the second component is angle. In older English usage, rectangle meant "a right angle." In modern usage, a rectangle is a quadrilateral in which every adjacent pair of sides is perpendicular; in other words, all four angles are right angles. - Doctor Sarah, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
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