A leg of a right triangle (i.e., a side adjacent the right angle) is also known as a cathetus (plural: catheti). While this usage is rather rare in English, the terms Ankathete (on-cathetus) and Gegenkathete (opposite-cathetus) are commonly used in German to denote the legs adjacent to and opposite the (non-right) angle in question, respectively.

In general, a cathetus is a line falling perpendicularly on a surface or another line.

See also

Hypotenuse, Leg, Perpendicular, Right Triangle

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Bernhardsen, T. Geographic Information Systems: An Introduction, 3rd ed. New York: Wiley, p. 271, 2002.

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Cite this as:

Weisstein, Eric W. "Cathetus." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource.

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