Definition of parallel noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpærəlel//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpærəlel//
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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] a person, a situation, an event, etc. that is very similar to another, especially one in a different place or time synonym equivalent These ideas have parallels in Freud's thought too. This is an achievement without parallel in modern times. This tradition has no parallel in our culture.
  2. 2[countable, usually plural] similar features There are interesting parallels between the 1960s and the late 1990s. It is possible to draw a parallel between (= find similar features in) their experience and ours.
  3. 3(also parallel of latitude) [countable] an imaginary line around the earth that is always the same distance from the equator; this line on a map the 49th parallel
  4. Word Originmid 16th cent.: from French parallèle, via Latin from Greek parallēlos, from para- ‘alongside’ + allēlos ‘one another’.Extra examples A close parallel to this behaviour is found in dolphins. He drew an interesting parallel with religious practices in Japan. Parallels do exist between the author’s family and that of Francie Coffin. She saw an obvious parallel with her sister’s predicament. The move west suggests a parallel with the earlier American pioneer experience. This weather pattern of the southern hemisphere has no parallel in the north. We found a direct parallel in the attitudes of children in other countries. a parallel between economic and cultural advancement a speed of development without parallel in post-war Europe It is possible to draw a parallel between their experience and ours. There are interesting parallels between the 1960s and the first decade of this century. These ideas have parallels in Freud’s thought too.Idioms
    in parallel (with something/somebody)
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    with and at the same time as something/somebody else The new degree and the existing certificate courses would run in parallel. Ann wanted to pursue her own career in parallel with her husband’s.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: parallel