Pronunciation: (par'u-lel", -lul), [key]
— adj., n., v., -leled, -lel•ing -lelled, -lel•ling.
- extending in the same direction, equidistant at all points, and never converging or diverging: parallel rows of trees.
- having the same direction, course, nature, or tendency; corresponding; similar; analogous: Canada and the U.S. have many parallel economic interests.
- (of straight lines) lying in the same plane but never meeting no matter how far extended.
- (of planes) having common perpendiculars.
- (of a single line, plane, etc.) equidistant from another or others (usually fol. by to or with).
- consisting of or having component parts connected in parallel: a parallel circuit.
- (of two voice parts) progressing so that the interval between them remains the same.
- (of a tonality or key) having the same tonic but differing in mode.
- Some computer systems join more than one CPU for parallel processing.
- of or pertaining to the apparent or actual performance of more than one operation at a time, by the same or different devices (distinguished from serial):Some computer systems join more than one CPU for parallel processing.
- of or pertaining to the simultaneous transmission or processing of all the parts of a whole, as all the bits of a byte or all the bytes of a computer word (distinguished from serial).
- a parallel line or plane.
- anything parallel or comparable in direction, course, nature, or tendency to something else.
- Also called
- an imaginary circle on the earth's surface formed by the intersection of a plane parallel to the plane of the equator, bearing east and west and designated in degrees of latitude north or south of the equator along the arc of any meridian.
- the line representing this circle on a chart or map.
- something identical or similar in essential respects; match; counterpart: a case history without a known parallel.
- correspondence or analogy: These two cases have some parallel with each other.
- a comparison of things as if regarded side by side.
- an arrangement of the components, as resistances, of a circuit in such a way that all positive terminals are connected to one point and all negative terminals are connected to a second point, the same voltage being applied to each component. Cf.(def. 9).
- a trench cut in the ground before a fortress, parallel to its defenses, for the purpose of covering a besieging force.
- a pair of vertical parallel lines (∥) used as a mark for reference.
- a trestle for supporting a platform
- to provide or show a parallel for; match.
- to go or be in a parallel course, direction, etc., to: The road parallels the river.
- to form a parallel to; be equivalent to; equal.
- to show the identity or similarity of; compare.
- to make parallel.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.