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Definition: In mathematics, abscissa (plural abscissae or abscissae) refers to that element of an ordered pair which is plotted on the horizontal axis of a two-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system, as opposed to the ordinate. It is the first of the two terms (often labelled x and y) which define the location of a point in such a coordinate system.
Source: Bellingham, Wash. (1000 20th St. Bellingham WA 98225-6705 USA) : SPIE, 2006
Example: For the point (-7, 3), -7 is called the abscissa and 3 the ordinate.