Home / All Definitions / Algebra / Geometry / Ordinate Definition

# Ordinate Definition

In mathematics, the ordinate and abscissa are respectively the second and first coordinates of a point in a coordinate system. The ordinate is the second coordinate in an ordered pair and the abscissa is the first coordinate. For instance with the point (3, 2) the ordinate is 2 and the abscissa is 3.

## Overview

The ordinate of a point is the signed measure of its projection on the secondary axis, whose absolute value is the distance between the projection and the origin of the axis, and whose sign is given by the location on the projection relative to the origin (before: negative; after: positive).

The abscissa of a point is the signed measure of its projection on the primary axis, whose absolute value is the distance between the projection and the origin of the axis, and whose sign is given by the location on the projection relative to the origin (before: negative; after: positive).

Usually these are the horizontal and vertical coordinates of a point in a two-dimensional rectangular Cartesian coordinate system. The terms can also refer to the horizontal and vertical axes respectively (typically x-axis and y–axis) of a two-dimensional graph. An ordered pair consists of two terms: the ordinate (vertical, usually y) and the abscissa (horizontal, usually x) which define the location of a point in two-dimensional rectangular space.

### Sources

“Abscissa and Ordinate.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Feb. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abscissa_and_ordinate.

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