General English

General Science

  • adjective side by side and having the same distance between them at every point
  • noun a line representing a parallel on a map or chart

Cars & Driving

  • noun two or more electrical components each receiving the same voltage


  • adjective used to describe a computer system in which two or more processors operate simultaneously on one or more items of data
  • adjective used to describe two or more bits of a word transmitted over separate lines at the same time


  • The condition in which two lines or planes are an equal distance apart at all points.
  • Electric blasting caps arranged so that the firing current passes through all of them at the same time.


  • A state or condition in which there is an equal distance at all points. For example, two infinitely long straight lines which do not intersect, or two curves or surfaces which are equidistant from each other at all points. Also, pertaining to that maintains this relationship.
  • characteristic of, or pertaining to a parallel circuit or parallel connection.
  • Acted upon, performed, functioning, or occurring simultaneously. For instance, parallel processors working together.
  • The simultaneous processing, storing, transfer, transmission, reception, or the like, of multiple bits, characters, or data units. This contrasts with serial (3), where each is handled one after the other.
  • Any of the great lines which circle the earth, and which are parallel (1) to the plane of the equator.


  • noun a sign (||) used as a reference mark for footnotes


  • see rostrum.


  • noun an imaginary line running round the earth, linking points at an equal distance from the equator

Origin & History of “parallel”

Etymologically, parallel simply means ‘beside each other’. It comes via French parallèle and Latin parallēlus from Greek parállēlos. this was a compound formed from pará ‘beside’ and allḗlōn ‘each other’, a derivative of állos ‘other’ (to which English else is distantly related).