- (of straight lines) lying in the same plane but never meeting no matter how far extended.
- (of planes) having common perpendiculars.
- (of a single line, plane, etc.) equidistant from another or others (usually followed by to or with).
- (of two voice parts) progressing so that the interval between them remains the same.
- (of a tonality or key) having the same tonic but differing in mode.
- of or relating to the apparent or actual performance of more than one operation at a time, by the same or different devices (distinguished from serial): Some computer systems join more than one CPU for parallel processing.
- of or relating to the simultaneous transmission or processing of all the parts of a whole, as all the bits of a byte or all the bytes of a computer word (distinguished from serial).
- an imaginary circle on the earth's surface formed by the intersection of a plane parallel to the plane of the equator, bearing east and west and designated in degrees of latitude north or south of the equator along the arc of any meridian.
- the line representing this circle on a chart or map.
verb (used with object), par·al·leled, par·al·lel·ing or (especially British) par·al·lelled, par·al·lel·ling.
- parallactic ellipse,
- parallactic motion,
- parallax test,
- parallel bars,
- parallel circuit,
- parallel cousin,
- parallel cousin marriage,
- parallel evolution
Origin of parallel
adjective (when postpositive, usually foll by to)
- Also: consecutive(of two or more parts or melodies) moving in similar motion but keeping the same interval apart throughoutparallel fifths
- denoting successive chords in which the individual notes move in parallel motion
- a configuration of two or more electrical components connected between two points in a circuit so that the same voltage is applied to each (esp in the phrase in parallel)
- (as modifier)a parallel circuit See series (def. 6)
verb -lels, -leling or -leled (tr)
Word Origin for parallel
1590s, from parallel (n.).
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.
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.)