parabolic was our Word of the Day on 08/25/2007. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of parabolic from the Web
Ballistic missiles fly in a parabolic route, exiting and entering the Earth's atmosphere, while cruise missiles fly in a straight line within the atmosphere.
Today’s skis are shorter and parabolic - or hourglass - in shape rather than straight, Berry said, making them more maneuverable and easier to turn.
Louis XIV was fascinated by parabolic reflectors, concave mirrors that reflect and intensify the sun.
The result, called parabolic motion, creates the sensation of zero gravity for passengers.
Without air, this would be a projectile with a parabolic path (assuming a constant gravitational field).
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parabolic'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The two distinct meanings of "parabolic" trace back to the development of Late Latin and New Latin. Late Latin is the Latin language used by writers in the third to sixth centuries. In that language, the word for "parable" was "parabola" - hence, the "parable" sense of "parabolic." New Latin refers to the Latin used since the end of the medieval period, especially in regard to scientific description and classification. In New Latin, "parabola" names the same geometrical curve as it does in English. Both meanings of "parabola" were drawn from the Greek word for "comparison": "parabolē."
Origin and Etymology of parabolic
in sense 1, from Late Latin parabola parable; in sense 2, from New Latin parabola
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
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