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Etymology of a Few Latin and Greek Geometry Terms

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A Few Terms From Geometry Based on Latin

  • Abscissa: ab (away from) + scindere (tear)
  • Acute: acus (needle)
  • Angle: angulus (angle or corner)
  • Circle: circus (circus)
  • Congruent: congruo (meet together [with something])

A Few Terms From Geometry Based on Greek

  • Cylinder: kulindô (to roll along)
  • Isosceles: isos (equal) + skelos (leg)
  • Parallel: para (beside) + allos (another)
  • Scalene: skalênos (uneven, unequal)
  • Trapezoid: trapeza (table)

For more on words imported from Latin into common and specialized areas of English, see

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