Meaning of PARALLEL in English


I. ˈper-ə-ˌlel, ˈpa-rə-, -ləl adjective

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

Date: 1549


a. : extending in the same direction, everywhere equidistant, and not meeting

parallel rows of trees

b. : everywhere equally distant

concentric spheres are parallel


a. : having parallel sides

a parallel reamer

b. : being or relating to an electrical circuit having a number of conductors in parallel

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



(1) : similar, analogous, or interdependent in tendency or development

(2) : exhibiting parallelism in form, function, or development

parallel evolution

b. : readily compared : companion

c. : having identical syntactical elements in corresponding positions ; also : being such an element


(1) : having the same tonic — used of major and minor keys and scales

(2) : keeping the same distance apart in musical pitch

4. : performed while keeping one's skis parallel

parallel turns

Synonyms: see similar

II. noun

Date: 1551


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


a. : something equal or similar in all essential particulars : counterpart

b. : similarity , analogue

3. : a comparison to show resemblance


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

III. transitive verb

Date: 1598

1. : to indicate analogy of : compare


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

IV. adverb

Date: circa 1747

: in a parallel manner

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.