Math Definitions - Letter P


Definition of Parabola

Definition of Parabola

A parabola is a symmetric curve that is shaped like an arch.

Formally, a parabola is the path taken by a point which moves so that its distance from a fixed point, called the focus, is equal to its distance from a fixed line, called the directrix.

For example, the graphs of the following functions are parabolas:

  • \(y = x^2\)
  • \(y = 4x^2 + 57x + 17\)
  • \(y = -x^2 + 3x + 2\)

Along with the circle, ellipse and hyperbola, the parabola is one of the conic sections.


The aim of this dictionary is to provide definitions to common mathematical terms. Students learn a new math skill every week at school, sometimes just before they start a new skill, if they want to look at what a specific term means, this is where this dictionary will become handy and a go-to guide for a student.


Year 1 to Year 12 students

Learning Objectives

Learn common math terms starting with letter P

Author: Subject Coach
Added on: 6th Feb 2018

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