• Parallel

    Pronunciation in accents without the w, English-language_vowel_changes_before_historic_/r/#Mary.E2.80.93marry.E2.80.93merry_merger, "Mary, marry, merry" merger in accents with the

    • enPR: păr'ə-lĕl", IPA: /ˈpæɹəlɛl/


    From Ancient Greek παράλληλος, from παρά + ἄλληλος, along each other

    Full definition of parallel



    1. Equally distant from one another at all points.The horizontal lines on my notebook paper are parallel.
      • Hakluytrevolutions ... parallel to the equinoctial
    2. Having the same overall direction; the comparison is indicated with "to".The railway line runs parallel to the road.The two railway lines are parallel.
      • AddisonWhen honour runs parallel with the laws of God and our country, it cannot be too much cherished.
    3. (hyperbolic geometry) said of a pair of lines: that they either do not intersect or they coincideJos Leys — The hyperbolic chamber (paragraph 8)
    4. (computing) Involving the processing of multiple tasks at the same timea parallel algorithm



    1. With a parallel relationship.The road runs parallel with the canal.

    Related terms



    (plural parallels)
    1. One of a set of parallel lines.
      • Alexander PopeWho made the spider parallels design,
        Sure as De Moivre, without rule or line?
    2. Direction conformable to that of another line.
      • Garthlines that from their parallel decline
    3. A line of latitude.The 31st parallel passes through the center of my town.
    4. An arrangement of electrical components such that a current flows along two or more paths; see in parallel.
    5. Something identical or similar in essential respects.
      • Alexander PopeNone but thyself can be thy parallel.
    6. A comparison made; elaborate tracing of similarity.Johnson's parallel between Dryden and Pope
    7. (military) One of a series of long trenches constructed before a besieged fortress, by the besieging force, as a cover for troops supporting the attacking batteries. They are roughly parallel to the line of outer defenses of the fortress.
    8. (printing) A character consisting of two parallel vertical lines, used in the text to direct attention to a similarly marked note in the margin or at the foot of a page.



    1. To construct or place something parallel to something else.
      • Sir Thomas BrowneThe needle ... doth parallel and place itself upon the true meridian.
    2. Of a path etc: To be parallel to something else.
    3. Of a process etc: To be analogous to something else.
    4. To compare or liken something to something else.
    5. To make to conform to something else in character, motive, aim, etc.
      • ShakespeareHis life is parallelled
        Even with the stroke and line of his great justice.
    6. To equal; to match; to correspond to.
    7. To produce or adduce as a parallel.
      • ShakespeareMy young remembrance cannot parallel
        A fellow to it.
    © Wiktionary