par·​al·​lel·​ism | \ ˈper-ə-ˌle-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce parallelism (audio) , -lə-ˌli-, ˈpa-rə-\

Definition of parallelism

1 : the quality or state of being parallel the parallelism of architectural figures
2 : resemblance, correspondence parallelism between obesity and hypertension— H. M. Marvin
3 : repeated syntactical similarities introduced for rhetorical effect biblical poetry relies largely on parallelism of lines— E. P. Sanders
4 : a theory that mind and matter accompany one another but are not causally related
5 : the independent development of a similar trait in related species or lineages following divergence (see divergence sense 1c) from a common ancestor

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Examples of parallelism in a Sentence

There is some degree of parallelism between the lives of the two women. There is a certain parallelism in the development of the two technologies.

Recent Examples on the Web

Sunny Cove cores find greater opportunities for parallelism by increasing the cache sizes. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Surprise! Intel reveals 10nm Sunny Cove CPU cores that go deeper, wider, and faster," 12 Dec. 2018 As clock speeds tended to top out at 4GHz to 5GHz, parallelism—originally in the form of support for more processor threads, and later to more physical cores—kept the processor performance on an upward trajectory. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel debuts 9th-generation Core chips, including Core i9 and X-series parts, with a few twists," 8 Oct. 2018 One is parallelism between an early battle which the protagonist loses, and a final fight which the protagonist wins. Ciara Wardlow, The Hollywood Reporter, "What 'Tomb Raider' Forgets About Origin Stories," 17 Mar. 2018 There are pleasing artistic flourishes like a foreshadowing image of waves overwhelming Tati, and parallelisms elsewhere that endow the movie with a literary feel. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Rust’: Film Review | Sundance 2018," 23 Jan. 2018 But whether its convergence or parallelism, what sort of environment selects for intelligence? Eoin O'carroll, The Christian Science Monitor, "Scientists say ravens display foresight, a trait thought unique to apes," 14 July 2017 The stories had a pleasing parallelism to them — the random travel from place to place, the studious tracking of the specimen. Photographs And Text By Sarah Lyall, New York Times, "Paying a Price for 8 Days of Flying in America," 9 June 2017 The parallelism allows qubits to do more calculations simultaneously. Agam Shah, PCWorld, "China adds a quantum computer to high-performance computing arsenal," 4 May 2017 Both businesswomen join the war effort at the same time, fall out of fashion at the same time, and so on, but the parallelism of their careers, signalled by a split-screen set, is too neat and repetitive a theme to sustain two acts. The New Yorker, "War Paint," 14 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parallelism.' 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 parallelism

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for parallelism

The first known use of parallelism was in 1610

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More Definitions for parallelism



English Language Learners Definition of parallelism

formal : the fact of being similar in development or form


par·​al·​lel·​ism | \ ˈpar-ə-ˌlel-ˌiz-əm, -ləl- How to pronounce parallelism (audio) \

Medical Definition of parallelism

: a philosophical or psychological doctrine that there is a one-to-one correspondence between events in the mind and events in the brain but that the two sets of events exist without interacting in a causal way

called also psychophysical parallelism

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More from Merriam-Webster on parallelism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with parallelism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for parallelism Encyclopedia article about parallelism

Comments on parallelism

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showing courage and determination

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