The Closing Word: Orthogonal

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This week we continue our vocabulary-building series, “The Closing Word.” Each week we provide a new word to help build your vocabulary and show you an example of how to use it.

This week’s closing word:


Pronounced: (or-THOG-uh-null)

1. having a set of mutually perpendicular axes; meeting at right angles
2. not pertinent to the matter under consideration
3. statistically unrelated

From “The word orthogonal comes from the Greek orthogōnios meaning “right-angled.” While this word is used to describe lines that meet at a right angle, it also describes events that are statistically independent, or do not affect one another in terms of outcome.”

“Tom, I understand break room cleanliness is an important concern for you, but it is completely orthogonal to today’s meeting about quarterly sales goals.

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