One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Of or like a parabola or part of one.‘a parabolic mirror behind a spotlight projects a parallel beam’
legendary, mythical, mythic, mythological, fabulous, folkloric, fairy-tale, heroic, traditionalView synonyms
- ‘Flown on a parabolic trajectory, this airplane can produce periods of microgravity for some twenty seconds.’
- ‘The extracts quoted by Eutocius from Diocles’ On burning mirrors showed that he was the first to prove the focal property of a parabolic mirror.’
- ‘The top of the cylinder was capped with a parabolic radio dish, which appeared to be made of cloth supported by a series of metal ribs.’
- ‘A primary concave parabolic mirror converges the light to one focus of a concave ellipsoidal mirror.’
- ‘He also studied spherical and parabolic mirrors, and understood how refraction by a lens will allow images to be focused and magnification to take place.’
2Of or expressed in parables.‘parabolic teaching’
- ‘As we shall see, narrative parables are generally considered to be the most distinctive form of parabolic teaching used by Jesus.’
- ‘Using parabolic teaching again, Jesus personifies the religious leaders as a son who says he'll work in his father's vineyard but is a no-show.’
Late Middle English: via late Latin from Greek parabolikos, from parabolē ‘application’ (see parabola).
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