Secant Calculator – Calculate sec(x)

Find the secant of an angle using the sec calculator below. Start by entering the angle in degrees or radians.

How to Find the Secant of an Angle

In a right triangle, the secant of angle α, or sec(α), is the ratio between the angle’s adjacent side and the hypotenuse.

illustration of a triangle showing the formula for secant being equal to hypotenuse c divided by adjacent side b

Secant is a trigonometric function abbreviated sec. Use the formula below to calculate the secant of an angle.

Secant Formula

The secant formula is:

sec(α) = hypotenuse cadjacent b

Thus, the secant of angle α in a right triangle is equal to the length of the hypotenuse c divided by the adjacent side b.

To solve sec, simply enter the length of the hypotenuse and adjacent side, then solve.

This formula might look very similar to the formula to calculate cosine. That’s because secant is the reciprocal of cosine.

Secant should not be confused with arccos, which is the inverse of the cosine function. The difference being that secant is equal to 1cos(x), while arccos is the inverse of the cosine function.

sec(x) = 1cos(x) = cos(x)-1
arccos(y) x where y = cos(x)

For example, let’s calculate the secant of angle α in a triangle with the length of the hypotenuse equal to 8 and the adjacent side equal to 6.

sec(α) = 86
sec(α) = 43

Secant Graph

If you graph the secant function for every possible angle, it forms a series of repeating U-curves.

graph of the repeating curves representing possible secant values

One important property to note in the graph above is that the secant of an angle is never in the range of -1 to 1; it’s always smaller than or equal to -1 or larger than or equal to 1.

You’ll also notice that the curves never cross the x-axis at an even multiple of 1/2π + π radians, or 90° + 180°

Secant Table

The table below shows common angles and the sec value for each of them.

Table showing common angles and sec values for each.
Angle (degrees) Angle (radians) Secant
0 1
15° π12 √6 – √2
30° π6 2√33
45° π4 √2
60° π3 2
75° 12 √6 + √2
90° π2 undefined
105° 12 -√6 – √2
120° 3 -2
135° 4 -√2
150° 6 2√33
165° 11π12 -√6 – √2
180° π -1
195° 13π12 -√6 – √2
210° 6 2√33
225° 4 -√2
240° 3 -2
255° 17π12 -√6 – √2
270° 2 undefined
285° 19π12 √6 + √2
300° 3 2
315° 4 √2
330° 11π6 2√33
345° 23π12 √6 – √2
360° undefined

You might also be interested in our cosecant and cotangent calculators.