What does parallel mean?

Definitions for parallel
ˈpær əˌlɛl, -ləlpar·al·lel

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word parallel.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. analogue, analog, parallel(noun)

    something having the property of being analogous to something else

  2. latitude, line of latitude, parallel of latitude, parallel(noun)

    an imaginary line around the Earth parallel to the equator

  3. parallel(adj)

    (mathematics) one of a set of parallel geometric figures (parallel lines or planes)

    "parallels never meet"

  4. parallel(adj)

    being everywhere equidistant and not intersecting

    "parallel lines never converge"; "concentric circles are parallel"; "dancers in two parallel rows"

  5. parallel(verb)

    of or relating to the simultaneous performance of multiple operations

    "parallel processing"

  6. parallel(verb)

    be parallel to

    "Their roles are paralleled by ours"

  7. parallel, collimate(verb)

    make or place parallel to something

    "They paralleled the ditch to the highway"

  8. twin, duplicate, parallel(verb)

    duplicate or match

    "The polished surface twinned his face and chest in reverse"


  1. Parallel(n.)

    (Geog.) One of the imaginary circles on the surface of the earth, parallel to the equator, marking the latitude; also, the corresponding line on a globe or map; as, the counry was divided into North and South at the 38th parallel.


  1. parallel(Noun)

    One of a set of parallel lines.

  2. parallel(Noun)

    A line of latitude.

    The 31st parallel passes through the center of my town.

  3. parallel(Noun)

    An arrangement of electrical components such that a current flows along two or more paths; see in parallel

  4. parallel(Noun)

    Something identical or similar in essential respects

  5. parallel(Verb)

    To construct something parallel to something else.

  6. parallel(Verb)

    Of a path etc: To be parallel to something else.

  7. parallel(Verb)

    Of a process etc: To be analogous to something else.

  8. parallel(Verb)

    To compare or liken something to something else.

  9. parallel(Adverb)

    With a parallel relationship

    The road runs parallel with the canal.

  10. parallel(Adjective)

    Equally distant from one another at all points.

    The horizontal lines on my notebook paper are parallel.

  11. parallel(Adjective)

    Having the same overall direction; the comparison is indicated with "to".

  12. parallel(Adjective)

    said of a pair of lines: that they either do not intersect or they coincide

  13. parallel(Adjective)

    Involving the processing of multiple tasks at the same time

    a parallel algorithm

  14. Origin: From παράλληλος, from παρά + ἄλληλος, along each other

Webster Dictionary

  1. Parallel(adj)

    extended in the same direction, and in all parts equally distant; as, parallel lines; parallel planes

  2. Parallel(adj)

    having the same direction or tendency; running side by side; being in accordance (with); tending to the same result; -- used with to and with

  3. Parallel(adj)

    continuing a resemblance through many particulars; applicable in all essential parts; like; similar; as, a parallel case; a parallel passage

  4. Parallel(noun)

    a line which, throughout its whole extent, is equidistant from another line; a parallel line, a parallel plane, etc

  5. Parallel(noun)

    direction conformable to that of another line,

  6. Parallel(noun)

    conformity continued through many particulars or in all essential points; resemblance; similarity

  7. Parallel(noun)

    a comparison made; elaborate tracing of similarity; as, Johnson's parallel between Dryden and Pope

  8. Parallel(noun)

    anything equal to, or resembling, another in all essential particulars; a counterpart

  9. Parallel(noun)

    one of the imaginary circles on the surface of the earth, parallel to the equator, marking the latitude; also, the corresponding line on a globe or map

  10. Parallel(noun)

    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

  11. Parallel(noun)

    a character consisting of two parallel vertical lines (thus, ) used in the text to direct attention to a similarly marked note in the margin or at the foot of a page

  12. Parallel(verb)

    to place or set so as to be parallel; to place so as to be parallel to, or to conform in direction with, something else

  13. Parallel(verb)

    fig.: To make to conform to something else in character, motive, aim, or the like

  14. Parallel(verb)

    to equal; to match; to correspond to

  15. Parallel(verb)

    to produce or adduce as a parallel

  16. Parallel(verb)

    to be parallel; to correspond; to be like

  17. Origin: [F. parallle, L. parallelus, fr. Gr. ; para` beside + of one another, fr. other, akin to L. alius. See Alien.]


  1. Parallel

    Parallelism is a term in geometry that refers to a property in Euclidean space of two or more lines or planes, or a combination of these. The assumed existence and properties of parallel lines are the basis of Euclid's parallel postulate. Two lines in a plane that do not intersect or touch at a point are called parallel lines. Likewise, a line and a plane, or two planes, in three-dimensional Euclidean space that do not share a point are said to be parallel. In a non-Euclidean space, parallel lines are those that intersect only in the limit at infinity.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Parallel

    par′al-lel, adj. side by side: (geom.) extended in the same direction and equi-distant in all parts: with the same direction or tendency: running in accordance with: resembling in all essential points: like or similar.—n. a line equi-distant from another at all points: a line drawn across a map or round a globe at right angles to the axis, marking latitude: likeness: a comparison: counterpart: (pl.) trenches, dug parallel to the outline of a besieged fortress to protect the besiegers (mil.).—v.t. to place so as to be parallel: to correspond, or to make to correspond, to:—pr.p. par′alleling or par′allelling; pa.p. par′alleled or par′allelled.n. Par′allelism, state of being parallel: resemblance: comparison: likeness of form or meaning, as of two statements, clauses, or verses.—adj. Parallelis′tic, of the nature of, or involving, parallelism.—adv. Par′allelly.—Parallel bars, a pair of bars securely fixed, 4 to 6 feet above the ground, and about 1½ feet apart, used in gymnastics to strengthen the arms; Parallel forces, forces which act in parallel lines, having a single resultant, readily found by the method of moments; Parallel motion, a name given to any linkage by which circular motion may be changed into straight-line motion; Parallel rulers, a mathematical instrument for drawing parallel lines. [Fr.,—L. parallelus—Gr. parallēlospara, beside, allēlōn, of one another—allos, another.]

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Parallel

    (a) In the nomenclature of electric circuits two or more conductors leading from one point to another, are said to be in parallel. (b) When two or more conductors connect two main leads of comparatively large size and low resistance they are said to be in parallel or in multiple arc. This order is easiest pictured as the rungs of a ladder in parallel connecting its two sides representing the main leads. It may be used as a noun as "arranged in parallel," or as an adjective as "a parallel circuit," the opposite of series, q. v.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. parallel

    A term for those lines that preserve an equal distance from each other. It is sometimes used instead of latitude, as, "Our orders were to cruise in the parallel of Madeira." More definitely, they are imaginary circles parallel with the equator, ninety in the northern, and ninety in the southern hemispheres.

Editors Contribution

  1. parallel

    A line in the same direction.

    The ship was parallel to the horizon.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 12, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. parallel

    Song lyrics by parallel -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by parallel on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'parallel' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4774

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'parallel' in Nouns Frequency: #2419

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'parallel' in Adjectives Frequency: #663

How to pronounce parallel?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say parallel in sign language?

  1. parallel


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of parallel in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of parallel in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of parallel in a Sentence

  1. Seen on a button:

    I am into parallel monogamy.

  2. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu:

    We will return these traitors to Turkey, pARALLEL STATE.

  3. Justice Department:

    The investigation will run parallel to the state's investigation.

  4. John Koenig:

    If two lines are truly parallel, it means they'll never actually meet.

  5. Marwan Mikhael:

    The parallel market will flourish more, you will have higher inflation.

Images & Illustrations of parallel

  1. parallelparallelparallelparallelparallel

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for parallel

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • موازيArabic
  • paral·lelCatalan, Valencian
  • paralélní, rovnoběžný, rovnoběžkaCzech
  • Parallele, parallel, Breitengrad, zu, BreitenkreisGerman
  • παράλληλος, παραλληλίζω, παράλληλαGreek
  • paralela, paraleloEsperanto
  • paraleloSpanish
  • rööpneEstonian
  • samansuuntainen, suuntainen, samansuuntaisesti, leveyspiiri, suuntaisesti, rinnakkainen, rinnastaa, yhdensuuntainenFinnish
  • à, parallèle, parallèlementFrench
  • מקביל, הִקְבִּיל, קו רוחב, מקבילים, השווהHebrew
  • समानान्तरHindi
  • párhuzamos vonal, szélességi kör, párhuzamos, szélességi fokHungarian
  • զուգահեռ, զուգահեռականArmenian
  • samhliðaIcelandic
  • parallelamente, paralleloItalian
  • 並列, 緯線, 平行Japanese
  • 갋다, 견주다, 나란하다, 평행의Korean
  • whakararaMāori
  • breddegrad, breddegradssirkelNorwegian
  • evenwijdig, parallel, evenwijdige, met, breedtegraadDutch
  • breidegradssirkel, breiddegradNorwegian Nynorsk
  • parallell, paralleltNorwegian
  • równoległy, równolegle, równoleżnikPolish
  • paralelo, paralelamentePortuguese
  • paralelRomanian
  • параллель, паралле́льный, паралле́льноRussian
  • parallell, liknas vidSwedish
  • song song, tương đôngVietnamese

Get even more translations for parallel »


Find a translation for the parallel definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Український (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss these parallel definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"parallel." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 18 Jan. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/parallel>.

Are we missing a good definition for parallel? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for parallel:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.