What It Means
2 : of, having the form of, or relating to a curve formed by the intersection of a cone and a plane parallel to an element of the cone
The batter launched the ball into a towering parabolic arc that carried it well over the center field fence.
"In 1937, [radio astronomer Grote] Reber built the world's first parabolic radio telescope in his backyard. The Reber Telescope was moved to the National Radio Observatory at Green Bank in the 1960s and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989." — Princeton Times (West Virginia), 21 Dec. 2018
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.
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
Fill in the blanks to complete a word related to Latin parabola that can mean "discussion" or "idle talk": p _ _ a _ er.VIEW THE ANSWER
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