parabola

[puh-rab-uh-luh]

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.

Nearby words

  1. parabiosis,
  2. parablast,
  3. parable,
  4. parablepsia,
  5. parables,
  6. parabole,
  7. parabolic,
  8. parabolic aerial,
  9. parabolic antenna,
  10. parabolic mirror

Origin of parabola

1570–80; < New Latin < Greek parabolḗ an application. See parable

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

Examples from the Web for parabola


British Dictionary definitions for parabola

parabola

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

Word Origin and History for parabola

parabola

n.

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

Science definitions for parabola

parabola

[pə-răbə-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.

Culture definitions for parabola

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

An object that is propelled away from the Earth and then drawn back by gravity, such as a fly ball in baseball, follows a path shaped like a parabola.

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.