# parabola

[ puh-rab-uh-luh ]

/ pəˈræb ə lə /

### noun Geometry.

a plane curve formed by the intersection of a right circular cone with a plane parallel to a generator of the cone; the set of points in a plane that are equidistant from a fixed line and a fixed point in the same plane or in a parallel plane. Equation: y2 = 2px or x2 = 2py.

## RELATED WORDS

trajectory, arc, arch, contour, loop, swerve, sweep, hairpin, crook, bend, whorl, ambit, concavity, circle, quirk, curvature, festoon, bight, compass, circumference

## Nearby words

- parabiosis,
- parablast,
- parable,
- parablepsia,
- parables,
- parabole,
- parabolic,
- parabolic aerial,
- parabolic antenna,
- parabolic mirror

## Origin of parabola

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

## Examples from the Web for parabola

## parabola

/ (pəˈræbələ) /

### noun

a conic section formed by the intersection of a cone by a plane parallel to its side. Standard equation: y ² = 4 ax, where 2 a is the distance between focus and directrix

## Word Origin for parabola

C16: via New Latin from Greek parabolē a setting alongside; see parable

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

## parabola

1570s, from Modern Latin parabola, from Greek parabole "parabola, comparison, analogy; application" (see parable), so called by Apollonius of Perga c.210 B.C.E. because it is produced by "application" of a given area to a given straight line. It had a different sense in Pythagorean geometry. Related: Parabolic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

## parabola

[ pə-răb′ə-lə ]

The curve formed by the set of points in a plane that are all equally distant from both a given line (called the directrix) and a given point (called the focus) that is not on the line.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

## parabola

[ (puh-rab-uh-luh) ]

A geometrical shape (see geometry) consisting of a single bend and two lines going off to an infinite distance.

## Note

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.