# 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Abscissa

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**ABSCISSA** (from the Lat. *abscissus*, cut off), in the Cartesian system of co-ordinates, the distance of a point from the axis of *y* measured parallel to the horizontal axis (axis of *x*). Thus PS (or OR) is the abscissa of P. The word appears for the first time in a Latin work written by Stefano degli Angeli (1623-1697), a professor of mathematics in Rome. (See Geometry, § *Analytical*.)