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tangential (adj) indirectly connected with something.

Something not directly connected with an issue is tangential to it. When you talk about a great person's achievements, what kind of clothes they wear, what their eating habits are and such other details are tangential to it; that is, these are not directly connected with the nature of their achievement.

  • The point is whether he has done it or not. Other details like how much time he has taken to do it, or whose help he has had in it are tangential to it. Such details are not important now or are not connected with the question whether he has done it or not.
  • Whether he has won the election or not is the important thing. Questions like by what majority he has won are tangential to it. Such questions are not directly connected with his winning. He has won and that is important.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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