## Summary

The Excel COS function returns the cosine of an angle given in radians. To supply an angle to COS in degrees, use the RADIANS function to convert to radians.

## Purpose

Get the cosine of an angle provided in radians.

The cosine value

## Syntax

``=COS(number)``
• number - The angle in radians for which you want the cosine.

## How to use

The COS function returns the cosine of an angle provided in radians. In geometric terms, the cosine of an angle returns the ratio of a right triangle's adjacent side over its hypotenuse. For example, the cosine of PI()/6 radians (30°) returns the ratio 0.866.

``````=COS(PI()/6) // Returns 0.886
``````

### Using Degrees

To supply an angle to COS in degrees, multiply the angle by PI()/180 or use the RADIANS function to convert to radians. For example, to get the COS of 60 degrees, you can use either formula below:

``````=COS(60*PI()/180)
``````

### Explanation The graph of cosine above visualizes the output of the function for all angles from 0 to a full rotation. Geometrically, the function returns the x-component of the point corresponding to an angle on the unit circle. Since the cosine of an angle returns a ratio, the output of the function will always be in the range [-1, 1].

Graph courtesy of wumbo.net Author ### Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.