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[par-uh-le-liz-uh m, -luh-liz-] /ˈpær ə lɛˌlɪz əm, -ləˌlɪz-/
the position or relation of parallels.
agreement in direction, tendency, or character; the state or condition of being parallel.
a parallel or comparison.
Metaphysics. the doctrine that mental and bodily processes are concomitant, each varying with variation of the other, but that there is no causal relation of interaction between the two.
Origin of parallelism
1600-10; parallel + -ism
Related forms
nonparallelism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for parallelism
  • While that parallelism may hammer in the author's message, it doesn't make for much spontaneity on stage.
  • Beam covers everything from parts of speech to parallelism.
  • The first is the growth of parallelism—the practice of getting a chip to execute many different operations simultaneously.
  • In this way the curious parallelism to animal motions, which was so striking and disturbing to the human beholder, was attained.
  • Wing has argued that ideas like recursion, parallelism and abstraction taken from computer science will redefine modern science.
  • Friendship needs a certain parallelism of life, a community of thought, a rivalry of aim.
  • Chief charges against them have been redundancy and faulty parallelism.
  • Your comparison to early naturalists is brilliant up to where you suggest a parallelism in the motive not to generalize.
  • Methods are described for measuring the flatness of gaging faces and the parallelism between opposing gaging faces.
  • Job level parallelism, the highest level of parallelism, is more of interest to administrators than individual users.
British Dictionary definitions for parallelism


the state of being parallel
(grammar) the repetition of a syntactic construction in successive sentences for rhetorical effect
(philosophy) the dualistic doctrine that mental and physical processes are regularly correlated but are not causally connected, so that, for example, pain always accompanies, but is not caused by, a pin-prick Compare interactionism, occasionalism
Derived Forms
parallelist, noun, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for parallelism

c.1600, from Greek parallelismos, from parallelizein (see parallel).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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parallelism in Technology

1. parallel processing.
2. The maximum number of independent subtasks in a given task at a given point in its execution. E.g. in computing the expression
(a + b) *
(c + d) the expressions a, b, c and d can all be calculated in parallel giving a degree of parallelism of (at least) four. Once they have been evaluated then the expressions a + b and c + d can be calculated as two independent parallel processes.
The Bernstein condition states that processes P and Q can be executed in parallel (or in either sequential order) only if:
(i) there is no overlap between the inputs of P and the outputs of Q and vice versa and
(ii) there is no overlap between the outputs of P, the outputs of Q and the inputs of any other task.
If process P outputs value v which process Q reads then P must be executed before Q. If both processes write to some variable then its final value will depend on their execution order so they cannot be executed in parallel if any other process depends on that variable's value.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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