par·​a·​bol·​ic | \ ˌper-ə-ˈbä-lik How to pronounce parabolic (audio) , ˌpa-rə- \

Definition of parabolic

1 : expressed by or being a parable : allegorical
2 : of, having the form of, or relating to a parabola motion in a parabolic curve

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Other Words from parabolic

parabolically \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈbä-​li-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce parabolically (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ adverb

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."

Examples of parabolic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That will keep the center of mass for the head-feet system in a parabolic trajectory. Rhett Allain, Wired, "A Kung Fu Master’s Leap Breaks the Internet—but Not Physics," 12 Dec. 2019 Its parabolic reflector bounces the infrared ray quite effectively. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Space Heaters for Warming Up the Office, Garage, or Home," 16 Oct. 2019 Its parabolic mirrors will play a significant role in contributing towards the nation's target of generating 40 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020. Aisha Salaudeen, CNN, "A group of former university students in Africa are creating an energy-efficient home inspired by traditional architecture," 5 Nov. 2019 This sort of parabolic flight isn’t remarkable for an experienced aerobatic pilot like González. Wired, "Scientists Take Baby Steps Toward Extraterrestrial Babies," 27 Oct. 2019 The parabolic canopies point the sound back at the field — and at the offenses unfortunate enough to hear it all. Jonas Shaffer,, "Crowd noise hasn’t bothered Lamar Jackson much. In Seattle, the Ravens defense might be more vulnerable," 18 Oct. 2019 To Spoelstra, the parabolic ascent and then descent of Whiteside's Heat career was a product of factors beyond the control of both center and coach. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Spoelstra on Whiteside era, ‘Weren’t really able to see what was possible’ | Commentary," 6 Oct. 2019 Bigelow said, giving the parabolic cooker a nudge, to keep it aligned with the sun. Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, "Alan Bigelow’s Solar-Cooking Revolution," 23 Sep. 2019 The craft throttled its engine and maneuvered eastward, taking a parabolic path to a pinpoint landing on a nearby ground pad. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "SpaceX's Starhopper prototype soars in 150-meter 'hop test'," 28 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of parabolic

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for parabolic

in sense 1, from Late Latin parabola parable; in sense 2, from New Latin parabola

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Time Traveler for parabolic

Time Traveler

The first known use of parabolic was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

27 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Parabolic.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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Comments on parabolic

What made you want to look up parabolic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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