parabolic

1
[par-uh-bol-ik]

adjective

having the form or outline of a parabola.
having a longitudinal section in the form of a paraboloid or parabola: a parabolic reflector.
of or relating to a parabola.

Origin of parabolic

1
First recorded in 1695–1705; parabol(a) + -ic

parabolic

2
[par-uh-bol-ik]

adjective

of, relating to, or involving a parable.
Sometimes par·a·bol·i·cal.

Origin of parabolic

2
1650–60; < Late Latin parabolicus metaphoric < Late Greek parabolikós figurative, equivalent to Greek parabol(ḗ) parable + -ikos -ic
Related formspar·a·bol·i·cal·ism, nounpar·a·bol·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·par·a·bol·i·cal, adjectivenon·par·a·bol·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for parabolic

Historical Examples of parabolic

  • All the small d's spout upward in parabolic curves, and descend at a considerable distance.

    A Book of Autographs

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Examine the second photograph, which shows a spherical, sound wave starting at the focus of a parabolic mirror.

  • They swung about the star in a parabolic orbit, for, at their velocity, the sun could not hold them in a planetary orbit.

    Islands of Space

    John W Campbell

  • The course of such a tariff with increasing distance would be represented by the parabolic curved lines on the preceding diagram.

  • He glanced at the parabolic radar antenna, rearing its head a dozen feet above him.

    Way of a Rebel

    Walter M. Miller



British Dictionary definitions for parabolic

parabolic

1

adjective

of, relating to, or shaped like a parabola
shaped like a paraboloida parabolic mirror

parabolic

2

parabolical

adjective

of or resembling a parable
Derived Formsparabolically, adverb
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 parabolic
adj.

mid-15c., from Late Latin parabolicus, from late Greek parabolikos "figurative," from parabole (see parable). Related: Parabolical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper