CARTESIAN, a. Pertaining to the philosopher Des Cartes, or to his philosophy, which taught the doctrine of vortexes round the sun and planets. CARTESIAN, n. One who adopts the philosophy of Des Cartes.

adjectiveEtymology: New Latin cartesianus, from Cartesius Descartes Date: 1656 of or relating to René Descartes or his philosophy • Cartesiannoun • Cartesianismnoun

adj. & n. --adj. of or relating to R. Descartes, 17th-c. French philosopher and mathematician. --n. a follower of Descartes. Phrases and idioms: Cartesian coordinates a system for locating a point by reference to its distance from two or three axes intersecting at right angles. Derivatives: Cartesianism n. Etymology: mod.L Cartesianus f. Cartesius, name of Descartes

Cartesian Car*te"sian, a. [From Renatus Cartesius, Latinized from of Ren['e] Descartes: cf. F. cart['e]sien.] Of or pertaining to the French philosopher Ren['e] Descartes, or his philosophy. The Cartesion argument for reality of matter. --Sir W. Hamilton. Cartesian co["o]rdinates (Geom), distance of a point from lines or planes; -- used in a system of representing geometric quantities, invented by Descartes. Cartesian devil, a small hollow glass figure, used in connection with a jar of water having an elastic top, to illustrate the effect of the compression or expansion of air in changing the specific gravity of bodies. Cartesion oval (Geom.), a curve such that, for any point of the curve mr + m'r' = c, where r and r' are the distances of the point from the two foci and m, m' and c are constant; -- used by Descartes.