adjective par·a·bol·ic \ˌper-ə-ˈbä-lik, ˌpa-rə-\

Definition of parabolic

  1. 1 :  expressed by or being a parable :  allegorical

  2. 2 :  of, having the form of, or relating to a parabola motion in a parabolic curve


play \ˌper-ə-ˈbä-li-k(ə-)lē, ˌpa-rə-\ adverb

parabolic was our Word of the Day on 08/25/2007. Hear the podcast!

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 century

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to cast off or become cast off

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