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Go off at a tangent

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Go off at a tangent to break off suddenly into a different line of thought, &c
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. tangens, -entis, pr.p. of tangĕre, to touch.

Usage

In literature:

The vessel seemed to go off at a tangent to its former course and leapt almost instantly from view into the fog.
"The Sea-Wolf" by Jack London
He had still been prepared to see me "go off at a tangent," as he expressed it.
"A Far Country, Complete" by Winston Churchill
The girl we live with has formed other views for herself, and is going off at a tangent.
"We Girls: A Home Story" by Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney
I have known many a man go off at a tangent on information that was not reliable.
"New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 3, June, 1915" by Various
Or tone it down, so that he would not go off at a tangent straightaway?
"Far to Seek" by Maud Diver
And whatever will she think of me, a-going off at a tangent in this onthankful manner?
"Her Mother's Secret" by Emma D. E. N. Southworth
Another creak or two and she will be breaking loose, and going off at a tangent which will surprise your innocent mind!
"An Unknown Lover" by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
Why, go off at a tangent, whatever that may be, and marry Prayle at once.
"The Rosery Folk" by George Manville Fenn
That is, if she doesn't go off at a tangent, down some blind-alley of a side issue!
"At Large" by E. W. Hornung
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