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parabolic (par-uh-BOL-ik) adjective

1. Of or relating to a parable.

2. Having the form of a parabola.

[Ultimately from Greek parabole, from para- (beside) + bole (throwing), from ballein (to throw).]

"The parabolic form tampers with proper novelistic delicacy, with the sense that genuine surprise might confront and contradict our expectations." James Wood; The Cost of Clarity; The New Republic (Washington, DC); Apr 17/Apr 24, 2000.

"Struggling to find a sense of home, Noel is haunted by disappointments, the ghost of his Vietnam MIA father, and the spirit of Ross. If this novel is something of a parable, then it is darkly parabolic from its first page on." Robert Gingher; Riding the Dragon; The World & I (Washington, DC); Jul 2001.

This week's theme: words from mathematics that have other meanings as well.


Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves. -Nathaniel Branden, psychotherapist (1930- )

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