1

parallel

adjective par·al·lel \ ˈper-ə-ˌlel , ˈpa-rə- , -ləl \
Updated on: 22 Nov 2017

Definition of parallel

1 a : extending in the same direction, everywhere equidistant (see equidistant 1), and not meeting
  • parallel rows of trees
b : everywhere equally distant
  • concentric spheres are parallel
2 a : having parallel sides
  • a parallel reamer
b : being or relating to an electrical circuit having a number of conductors (see conductor d(1)) in parallel (see 2parallel 4b)
c : arranged in parallel
  • a parallel processor
d : relating to or being a connection in a computer system in which the bits of a byte are transmitted over separate channels at the same time
  • a parallel port
— compare serial
3 a (1) : similar, analogous, or interdependent in tendency or development
(2) : exhibiting parallelism in form, function, or development
  • parallel evolution
b : readily compared : companion
  • the marriage rate turned upward … the birth rate entered upon a parallel climb
  • —Oscar Handlin
c : having identical syntactical elements in corresponding positions; also : being such an element
d (1) : having the same tonic used of major and minor keys and scales
(2) : keeping the same distance apart in musical pitch (see 4pitch 4b(1))
4 : performed while keeping one's skis parallel
  • parallel turns

Examples of parallel in a Sentence

  1. the parallel careers of the two movie stars

  2. These two sentences are parallel in structure.

  3. Notice the parallel development of the two technologies.

Recent Examples of parallel from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parallel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of parallel

Latin parallelus, from Greek parallēlos, from para beside + allēlōn of one another, from allos … allos one … another, from allos other — more at else

Synonym Discussion of parallel

similar, analogous, parallel mean closely resembling each other. similar implies the possibility of being mistaken for each other.
    • all the houses in the development are similar
analogous applies to things belonging in essentially different categories but nevertheless having many similarities.
    • analogous political systems
parallel suggests a marked likeness in the development of two things.
    • the parallel careers of two movie stars

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms


2

parallel

noun

Definition of parallel

1 a : a parallel line, curve, or surface
b : one of the imaginary circles on the surface of the earth paralleling the equator and marking the latitude; also : the corresponding line on a globe or map — see latitude illustration
c : a character ∥ used in printing especially as a reference mark
2 a : something equal or similar in all essential particulars : counterpart
3 : a comparison to show resemblance
4 a : the state of being physically parallel
b : an arrangement of electrical devices in a circuit in which the same potential difference is applied to two or more resistances with each resistance being on a different branch of the circuit — compare series
c : an arrangement or state that permits several operations or tasks to be performed simultaneously rather than consecutively
in parallel
: in a parallel arrangement

Examples of parallel in a Sentence

  1. These myths have some striking parallels with myths found in cultures around the world.

  2. There are many parallels between the stories.

  3. Most of the United States is south of the 49th parallel.

Recent Examples of parallel from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parallel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of parallel


3

parallel

verb

Definition of parallel

transitive verb
1 : to indicate analogy of : compare
2 a : to show something equal to : match
b : to correspond to
3 : to place so as to be parallel in direction with something
4 : to extend, run, or move in a direction parallel to

Examples of parallel in a Sentence

  1. Their test results parallel our own.

  2. Rising prices parallel increasing fuel costs.

  3. Spending is paralleled by an increase in the number of loans given.

  4. The highway parallels the river.

Recent Examples of parallel from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parallel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of parallel

parallel Synonyms

Synonyms
correspond (to), equal, match
Related Words
blend (with), conform (to), coordinate (with), go (with), harmonize (with); complement, supplement; counterbalance, counterpoise; echo, image, mirror, repeat; add up (to), amount (to), approach, come (to), near; measure (up), partake (of), rival, suggest

4

parallel

adverb

Definition of parallel

: in a parallel manner

Recent Examples of parallel from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parallel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of parallel

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms



PARALLEL Defined for English Language Learners

parallel

adjective

Definition of parallel for English Language Learners

  • : very similar and often happening at the same time

  • computers : designed for a computer system in which very small pieces of information are sent over separate wires at the same time


parallel

noun

Definition of parallel for English Language Learners

  • : a way in which things are similar : a shared quality or characteristic

  • : something that is equal or similar

  • : any one of the imaginary circles on the surface of the Earth that are parallel to the equator and that are shown as lines on maps


parallel

verb

Definition of parallel for English Language Learners

  • : to be similar or equal to (something)

  • : to happen at the same time as (something) and in a way that is related or connected

  • : to be parallel to (something) : to go or extend in the same direction as (something)


PARALLEL Defined for Kids

1

parallel

adjective par·al·lel \ ˈper-ə-ˌlel \

Definition of parallel for Students

: lying or moving in the same direction but always the same distance apart
  • parallel lines
  • Train tracks are parallel.

Headscratcher for parallel

It's easy to remember that parallel is spelled with two LL's. Just think of parallel as containing parallel lines, which are the two L's.


2

parallel

noun

Definition of parallel for Students

1 : a line or surface that lies at or moves in the same direction as another but is always the same distance from it
2 : one of the imaginary circles on the earth's surface running in the same direction as the equator and marking latitude
3 : a way in which things are similar
  • The parallel between their lives is obvious.
4 : 3equal It is a masterpiece without parallel.

3

parallel

verb

Definition of parallel for Students

paralleled; paralleling
1 : to move, run, or extend in the same direction with but always at the same distance from
  • A road parallels the river.
2 : to be similar or equal to


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