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# Definition of: Cartesian coordinate system

Geom. **1.** A plane system for indicating the curve of an equation graphically by means of two axes, graduated in both directions from the origin: when intersecting at right angles, the coordinates are called *rectangular*, when intersecting at any angle other than 90°, the coordinates are called *oblique.* **2.** A three-dimensional system for indicating the shape of a solid by means of three planes intersecting at right angles to each other at a point called the origin: from the three points of reference required, any point in space with coordinates *x, y*, and *z* can be located. See illustration under OCTANT. Also called *rectangular coordinate system.*