Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “parallel”

parallel

adjective  /ˈpær·əˌlel, -ləl/ us  

parallel adjective (POSITION)

geometry [not gradable] (of two or more straight lines) being the same distance apart along all their length: The wood was marked with parallel dark bands.

parallel adjective (SIMILARITY)

similar or matching: Parallel experiments are being conducted in Europe and the United States.
parallel
adverb [not gradable]  /ˈpær·əˌlel, -ləl/ us  
Maple Street runs parallel to State Street.
parallel
verb [T]  /ˈpær·əˌlel, -ləl/ us  
The highway parallels the river for about 20 miles.

parallel

noun [C]  /ˈpær·əˌlel, -ləl/ us  

parallel noun [C] (SIMILARITY)

something very similar to something else, or a similarity between two things: There’s an incredible parallel between the talking blues of 50 years ago and today’s rap music. The black experience in America has been without parallel in the experience of other peoples.

parallel noun [C] (POSITION)

earth science one of the imaginary latitude lines around the earth that are parallel to the equator: the 40th parallel
parallel
verb [T]  /ˈpær·əˌlel, -ləl/ us  
Her account of the incident closely parallels what others have reported.
(Definition of parallel from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of parallel?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More American English definitions for “parallel”

Definitions of “parallel” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

aptitude

a natural ability or skill

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More