parabola (pə-rāb'ə-lə) Pronunciation Key
(click for larger image in new window) The curve formed by the set of points in a plane that are all equally distant from both a given line (called the directrix) and a given point (called the focus) that is not on the line. |
A geometrical shape (see geometry) consisting of a single bend and two lines going off to an infinite distance.
Note: An object that is propelled away from the Earth and then drawn back by gravity, such as a fly ball in baseball, follows a path shaped like a parabola.