Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Parabola'
n : a plane curve formed by the intersection of a right circular
cone and a plane parallel to an element of the curve
- Parabola \Pa*rab"o*la\, n.; pl. Parabolas. [NL., fr. Gr. ?; --
so called because its axis is parallel to the side of the
cone. See Parable, and cf. Parabole.] (Geom.)
(a) A kind of curve; one of the conic sections formed by the
intersection of the surface of a cone with a plane
parallel to one of its sides. It is a curve, any point of
which is equally distant from a fixed point, called the
focus, and a fixed straight line, called the directrix.
(b) One of a group of curves defined by the equation y =
ax^n where n is a positive whole number or a positive
fraction. For the cubical parabola n = 3; for the
semicubical parabola n = 3/
- See under Cubical, and Semicubical. The parabolas have infinite branches, but no rectilineal asymptotes.
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Parabola'
In mathematics, the parabola (pronounced /pəˈræbələ/, plural parabolae or parabolas, from the Greek παραβολή) is a conic section, the intersection of a right circular conical surface and a plane parallel to a generating straight line of that surface. Given a point (the focus) and a corresponding line (the directrix) on the plane, the locus of points in that plane that are equidistant from them is a parabola. The line perpendicular to the directrix and passing through the focus (that is the line that splits the parabola through the middle)is called the "axis of symmetry". The point on the axis of symmetry that intersects the parabola is called the "vertex". The vertex is the point where the parabola changes directions. Parabolas can open up, down, left, or right.
The name "parabola" is derived from a New Latin term that means something similar to "compare" or "balance".[See more about Parabola at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
Words and phrases related to 'Parabola'