Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

The mathematical sense is more general, subsuming both senses given (but it might do to list all three). There is also a somewhat tech-speaky general usage meaning "independent", as in "how you deliver the message is orthogonal to what message you want delivered". (-dmh)

This sense is derived from the mathematical one, of course, because two vectors that are orthogonal to one another are linearly independent. — Paul G 17:35, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Indeed. I believe the base of the metaphor is that any vector can be broken into orthogonal components by projecting onto an orthogonal base. This idea of separation is the basis for using orthogonal in discussing separation of concerns -dmh 18:08, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)