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Maths II



Words associated with circles

You should already know the meanings of the words radius, diameter, circumference, tangent, arc, chord, sector and segment.

If you are unsure of any of these words, have a look at the Maths I Revision Bites on Angles Involved with Circles and Area and Circumference of a Circle.

Segments and arcs

When a chord divides a circle into segments, it produces a minor segment and major segment. It also divides the circumference into a minor arc and major arc.

A circle. A horizontal line near the top separates a minor segment, on top, from a major dsegment, on the bottom. Also illustrated is a minor arc, curving round the minor segment, and a major arc, curving round the major segment.


In a similar way, two radiuses (or radii) divide the circle into a minor sector and major sector.

A circle with a small section highlighted in a different colour, like slice of cake cut from a whole one. This piece is labelled a minor sector, and the remaining piece of circle is a major sector.

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