1540s, from Middle French parallèle (16c.) and directly from Latin parallelus, from Greek parallelos "parallel," from para allelois "beside one another," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + allelois "each other," from allos "other" (see alias). As a noun from 1550s. Parallel bars as gymnastics apparatus are recorded from 1868.
1590s, from parallel (n.).
Adjective Of or relating to lines or surfaces that are separated everywhere from each other by the same distance.
Noun Any of the imaginary lines encircling the Earth's surface parallel to the plane of the equator, used to represent degrees of latitude. See illustration at longitude.
The use of many different computer processors to work on different parts of a problem simultaneously. This is one way of increasing the speed at which computers can work, with each processor working on a part of a larger problem. (Compare serial processing.)
Note: The SETI project recently introduced a parallel processing system that allows individuals to use their personal computers to analyze data and assist in the search for extraterrestrial life.