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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for parallelism
Historical Examples
  • It must be remembered that there is no parallelism in the chronology of the beginnings of the North and the South.

    Women of America John Rouse Larus
  • In those there was much similarity, indeed, in many respects a parallelism.

    The Free Lances Mayne Reid
  • parallelism implies a false idea, which we have already come across when discussing materialism.

    The Mind and the Brain Alfred Binet
  • Here again we find a parallelism, as in case of music scales, etc.

    Negro Folk Rhymes Thomas W. Talley
  • But the presence of the nail disturbs their parallelism and squeezes them downwards on both sides of the finger.

    Finger Prints Francis Galton
  • Let us study the exact point on which parallelism has amended materialism.

    The Mind and the Brain Alfred Binet
  • parallelism with the transformation of systems of organs, 513.

  • I said a little while ago that parallelism was a perfected materialism.

    The Mind and the Brain Alfred Binet
  • Those Psalms that have parallelism are very little different from those Psalms where it is absent.

    The Literature of Ecstasy Albert Mordell
  • There is, therefore, usually a parallelism and consistency in their great 5.

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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