- One of the conic sections. Parabolic sections have the property of being able to bring light to a focus at a single point, so that telescope makers aspire to create parabolic optical surfaces.
- noun a graph shaped like a U
- A curve which is formed by a conic section whose distance from a fixed point, called focus, is the same as that to a fixed line, called directrix. The curve obtained when a quadratic equation is graphed is in the shape of a parabola.