American English

Definition of parallel noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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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. Idioms
    in parallel (with something/somebody)
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    with and at the same time as something or someone 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 Learner's Dictionary entry: parallel