Meaning of diagonal in English:


Pronunciation /dʌɪˈaɡ(ə)n(ə)l/

See synonyms for diagonal

Translate diagonal into Spanish


  • 1(of a straight line) joining two opposite corners of a square, rectangle, or other straight-sided shape.

    ‘Draw two diagonal lines dividing the square and the rectangle into triangles.’
    • ‘One option is to draw a diagonal line between two opposite points to represent movement between here and there.’
    • ‘The design was very nice, with diagonal lines forming a grid, each square filled with a snapshot of the movie in rich, warm tones.’
    • ‘He imagined how a diagonal line cutting across a square would divide the square into two right triangles.’
    • ‘They form a diagonal shape at the bottom of the torso, and can be divided into the front triangle and the back triangle.’
    • ‘A diagonal line separated a triangle of white and another of blue that together formed a rectangle.’
    • ‘In principle, with perfect agreement between the two sequences, all points will lie on the diagonal line, while large deviations indicate large branch length differences.’
    • ‘The points 11 to 13, outside the common ancestor 3 of the probes 7 and 9, lie on the diagonal line A.’
    • ‘If each successive 10% of households held 10% of total income, then the curve would be a diagonal line at 45°.’
    • ‘This is accomplished by avoiding vertical, horizontal or diagonal lines, and checker-board patterns of pixels for which the color level is decremented.’
    • ‘This study consisted of a grid of 15 squares, each inscribed with one or more horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines in different orientations.’
    • ‘The starting positions of the first instance of the repeat on the upper strand and the starting position of the second instance of the repeat on the lower strand are connected by a diagonal line.’
    • ‘The thin diagonal line is the 1: 1 relationship.’
    • ‘Fibonacci fans are composed of diagonal lines.’
    • ‘Symbols occurring close to the diagonal line represent a perfect match between simulated and measured data.’
    • ‘The diagonal line indicates d N = d S, meaning neutral selection.’
    • ‘The other diagonal lines specify points with this ratio above 10, 100, and 1000.’
    • ‘The diagonal line indicates where the data points would be if the measurements obtained with the 2 techniques were identical.’
    • ‘The diagonal line connecting these two points must equal 5 feet.’
    • ‘In the grid numerous long diagonal white lines can clearly be seen.’
    1. 1.1(of a line) straight and at an angle; slanting.
      ‘a tie with diagonal stripes’
      • ‘The film, with the exception of one shot, is composed of precisely two camera angles: a diagonal shot from the dashboard towards the passenger seat, and another, similar shot towards the driver seat.’
      • ‘Pencil-thin diagonal blues and greens angle across the surface like tracer-bullet tracks streaking across a movie screen.’
      • ‘Score the squid by holding the knife at an angle and making diagonal cuts, taking care not to cut right through.’
      • ‘A reflective road sign with diagonal stripes of black and white thrusts itself upward through the picture plane.’
      • ‘I bought a black sleeveless Lycra shirt with yellow and white diagonal stripes across the chest.’
      • ‘The column spacing makes for a complex, overlapping matrix when viewed from a diagonal angle.’
      • ‘In the second half Windermere had the advantage of the diagonal crosswind and continued to apply pressure to the Gosforth line without turning it into points.’
      • ‘One end of the upper stone was fixed to a pivot and both stones were ‘dressed’ with small diagonal grooves which crossed each other at an angle as the upper stone swept across the lower in an arc.’
      • ‘Towards the west end is the main staircase, its bottom flight skewed to the angle of the south wing in response to the diagonal thrust of the approach.’
      • ‘The solid diagonal line represents the situation when the two estimated distributions were identical.’
      • ‘If scaffolds are not set away, mortar may lodge on diagonal bracing and adhere to wall.’
      • ‘As for color, choose a gold and black regimental tie with alternating diagonal stripes.’
      • ‘I bought a black sleeveless Lycra shirt with yellow and white diagonal stripes across the chest.’
      • ‘The diagonal passes that are fed in are very difficult to defend against.’
      • ‘The scabs had faded, so there were only two faint pink diagonal lines.’
      • ‘Press your heels down onto the ball, pull your abs inward, and raise your hips and torso off the floor until your ankles, hips and shoulders are in a straight, diagonal line.’
      • ‘Double diagonal lines indicate an area not drawn to scale.’
      • ‘We can see that as we increase resolution, drawing a straight, diagonal line looks better.’
      • ‘These rays are also useful artistically for breaking up the shapes of the mountains with diagonal lines.’
      • ‘At one point the dancer stamped nimbly in a diagonal line across the stage and stopped in the front corner.’
      crossways, crosswise, from corner to corner, slanting, slanted, aslant, slant, slantwise, sloping, oblique, inclined, inclining, tilted, tilting, angled, at an angle, cornerwise
      View synonyms


  • 1A straight line joining two opposite corners of a square, rectangle, or other straight-sided shape.

    ‘Do this at a diagonal, from one corner of the square to the opposite corner.’
    • ‘For example, the Pythagoreans did not expect to uncover irrational numbers in the diagonal of a square.’
    • ‘The particular tablet which concerns us is not one relating to administration but one which presents a geometrical problem which asks for the dimensions of a rectangle whose area and diagonal are known.’
    • ‘If you turn the squares on the diagonal, creating a diamond shape, the measurement is less obvious.’
    • ‘Similarly, we only know that a diagonal of a square is incommensurable with its side if we know that there are squares and that squares have diagonals.’
    • ‘Cut into squares and then cut the squares along the diagonal.’
    • ‘How would you get the number of diagonals in a polygon?’
    • ‘After everything is nailed together, check the wall for squareness first by measuring across diagonally from one corner to the other, then measuring the opposite diagonal.’
    • ‘Let d be the length of the diagonal of a square and s the length of its sides.’
    • ‘A mathematical theorem about diagonals of rectangles might mention two equal and similar triangles which are, nonetheless, distinct.’
    • ‘For example, the Pythagoreans did not expect to uncover irrational numbers in the diagonal of a square.’
    • ‘The diagonal of a square of side 30 is found by multiplying 30 by the approximation to 2.’
    • ‘Complete the parallelogram CABD and draw in the diagonal AD which is then easily seen to bisect the angle CAB.’
    • ‘The five-pointed stars on many flags of the world (for example, the European flag) are made by cutting the diagonals of a pentagon according to the Golden Ratio.’
    • ‘It involves the solution of polygons given certain sides and angles between them, their mensuration, division by diagonals, circumscribing polygons around circles and inscribing polygons in circles.’
    • ‘Third, show that every simple lattice polygon may be dissected into a union of lattice triangles (e.g., by its diagonals.)’
    • ‘When you can't draw any more without intersecting existing diagonals, count their total number.’
    • ‘Observe that opposite sides of these hexagons are parallel, because the equal-area condition requires them to be parallel to a common diagonal.’
    • ‘We can find the length of the other side of the triangle, the diagonal AT, by using Pythagoras' Theorem.’
    • ‘He showed that in any hexagon formed of six tangents to a conic, the three diagonals meet at a point.’
    1. 1.1Mathematics The set of elements of a matrix that lie on a line joining two opposite corners.
      ‘The alpha values and the mean interitem correlations are presented in the diagonals of the matrices in Table 2.’
      • ‘The diagonal of the rate matrix is specified such that the row sums are equal to zero.’
      • ‘If we restrict ourselves to the 2x2 arrays whose diagonals lie on the main diagonal of the table, then the sum of four numbers in the array is always a perfect square.’
      • ‘If we let D denote the diagonal matrix with the entries of along its diagonal, then reversibility is equivalent to the detailed balance condition’
      • ‘The diagonal of the rate matrix is specified such that the row sums are equal to zero.’
    2. 1.2A slanting straight line.
      ‘the bars of light made diagonals across the entrance’
      • ‘tiles can be laid on the diagonal’
      • ‘Let stand ten minutes, then slice very thin and on the diagonal.’
      • ‘Take cuttings from last seasons growth, cut just below the bud and trim the top on the diagonal.’
      • ‘The paintings are thick with diagonals; light is pure color, color is pure stroke.’
      • ‘The truncated shapes often incorporate diagonals, and these shapes, in turn, recur in the artist's paintings.’
      • ‘Spanning the entire adjacent wall, an ascending diagonal was joined by a rippled line.’
      • ‘Circles, rounded shapes and curves have become prominent in Ross's work, whether in terse, varicolored, concentric bands or in combination with diagonals, pentagons and trapezoids.’
      • ‘Nothing is in a predictable relationship; the beams are not the same sizes, and although they pass through each other in fairly straight diagonals, the effect is entanglement, not movement.’
      • ‘His perspectives, building across the paper horizontally, were slightly tilted and cut by occasional diagonals, almost as if caught by an amateur's camera.’
      • ‘There is nothing static in Strand's New York: It is a city built of passing glances, a streetscape of dashing diagonals and unexpected angles.’
      • ‘Arrange in a circle, in corners or in a diagonal.’
      • ‘The positioning of the diving board - coming at a diagonal out of the corner - gives perspective as well as cutting across the predominant horizontals.’
      • ‘It wasn't the fact that she was unused to the size of the car, or that little Billy was throwing a fit on the back seat that meant she ended up forming a diagonal between the white lines, oh no.’
      • ‘The paved walkway I follow runs at a diagonal across the slope toward the beach.’
      • ‘These lines also work best when they follow a diagonal, rather than a straight horizontal or vertical.’
      • ‘A wood sculpture from 2002 bunches several small rectangular forms beneath two lengthy diagonals that meet at the top like the tips of fingers joined in prayer.’
      • ‘The quartet begins with the dancers - dressed in everyday clothes, but colorful so as not to be dull under stage lights - standing in a square formation along a slight diagonal.’
      • ‘Set against the rectangular everyday norm, it is the zigzags and clashing diagonals of the interior that provide the most convincing symbols of conflict, giving real identity to the purpose of the building.’
      • ‘Miller photographs buildings from high angles to get repeating diagonals and pyramidlike forms, then manipulates this imagery so that it draws the eye inward or seems to project from the surface of the picture.’
      • ‘They can be disturbing unless supported by verticals or opposing diagonals.’
      • ‘He shaped for a diagonal into the box, before cutting through a low drive that swerved slightly away from the goalkeeper.’
    3. 1.3Chess A slanting row of squares whose colour is the same.
      ‘If you move a pawn to open up a diagonal for a bishop, then should you usually NOT move up another pawn to develop the bishop on the other diagonal.’
      • ‘After a queen pawn opening, Hort threatened mate on the long diagonal.’
      • ‘As frequently happens in such a situation, White does not have a diagonal for his dark Bishop, nor does he have any other diagonals from which to aim at his opponent's King.’
      • ‘Black decides that he has to get White's Bishop off that laser a2-g8 diagonal!’
      • ‘Her king was safe on h8, protected on the long diagonal by her bishop on e5.’


Mid 16th century from Latin diagonalis, from Greek diagōnios ‘from angle to angle’, from dia ‘through’ + gōnia ‘angle’.