Definition of Parabola

: A parabola is a curve that looks like the one on the right. Its open end can point up, down, left or right. A curve of this shape is called 'parabolic', meaning 'like a parabola'.

Quick navigation: Geometric Figure

: A u-shaped curve with certain specific properties. Formally, a parabola is defined as follows: For a given point, called the focus, and a given line not through the focus, called the directrix, a parabola is the locus of points such that the distance to the focus equals the distance to the directrix. [Adopted from MathWords]

Note: For a parabolic mirror, all rays of light emitting from the focus reflect off the parabola and travel parallel to each other (parallel to the axis of symmetry as well).

: A parabola is the set of all points in a plane that are equidistant from the focus and the directrix of the parabola. [Adopted from iCoachMath]


Focus of a parabola lies on the axis of symmetry.


Directrix is a line that is perpendicular to the axis of symmetry of a parabola.

Geometric figure and Formulas:

Large image below:

Short Note:


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