1. A line which, throughout its whole extent, is equidistant from another line; a parallel line, a parallel plane, etc.
Who made the spider parallels design,
Sure as De Moivre, without rule or line ? --Pope.
2. Direction conformable to that of another line,
Lines that from their parallel decline. --Garth.
3. Conformity continued through many particulars or in all essential points; resemblance; similarity.
Twixt earthly females and the moon
All parallels exactly run. --Swift.
4. A comparison made; elaborate tracing of similarity; as, Johnson's parallel between Dryden and Pope.
5. Anything equal to, or resembling, another in all essential particulars; a counterpart.
None but thyself can be thy parallel. --Pope.
6. Geog. One of the imaginary circles on the surface of the earth, parallel to the equator, marking the latitude; also, the corresponding line on a globe or map; as, the counry was divided into North and South at the 38th parallel.
7. Mil. One of a series of long trenches constructed before a besieged fortress, by the besieging force, as a cover for troops supporting the attacking batteries. They are roughly parallel to the line of outer defenses of the fortress.
8. Print. A character consisting of two parallel vertical lines (thus, ) used in the text to direct attention to a similarly marked note in the margin or at the foot of a page.
9. Elec. That arrangement of an electrical system in which all positive poles, electrodes, terminals, etc., are joined to one conductor, and all negative poles, etc., to another conductor; -- called also multiple. Opposed to series.
Note: ☞ Parts of a system so arranged are said to be in parallel or in multiple.
Limiting parallels. See under Limit, v. t.
Parallel of altitude Astron., one of the small circles of the sphere, parallel to the horizon; an almucantar.
Parallel of declination Astron., one of the small circles of the sphere, parallel to the equator.
Parallel of latitude. (a) Geog. See def. 6. above. (b) Astron. One of the small circles of the sphere, parallel to the ecliptic.
parallel of latitude
n : an imaginary line around the Earth parallel to the equator
[syn: latitude, line of latitude, parallel]