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Parallel vs. Perpendicular: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on January 13, 2024
Parallel lines never meet and maintain a constant distance, while perpendicular lines intersect at a 90-degree angle.

Key Differences

Parallel lines run alongside each other at a consistent distance, never intersecting. Perpendicular lines, on the other hand, intersect at an exact 90-degree angle, forming corners.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 13, 2024
In geometry, parallel lines are seen in shapes like rectangles and parallelograms. Perpendicular lines are evident in squares and rectangles, marking their corners.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 13, 2024
Parallel lines maintain the same direction indefinitely. In contrast, perpendicular lines meet once and then diverge in two different directions.
Huma Saeed
Jan 13, 2024
On a grid or graph, parallel lines have the same slope, while perpendicular lines have slopes that are negative reciprocals of each other.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 13, 2024
In everyday life, parallel lines can be seen in railway tracks, whereas perpendicular lines are seen in the crossing of streets.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 13, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Lines that never meet and are equidistant
Lines that intersect at a 90-degree angle
Sumera Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Geometric Examples

Rectangles, parallelograms
Squares, rectangles
Huma Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Direction

Same direction indefinitely
Intersect and diverge in different directions
Sumera Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Slopes (In Graphs)

Same slope
Negative reciprocals of each other
Aimie Carlson
Jan 13, 2024

Real-Life Examples

Railway tracks
Crossing of streets
Sumera Saeed
Jan 13, 2024
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Parallel and Perpendicular Definitions

Parallel

In computing, parallel processing involves simultaneous data handling.
The supercomputer uses parallel processing for complex calculations.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Perpendicular

Perpendicular lines intersect at a right angle.
The corners of a square are perpendicular.
Huma Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Parallel

Parallel describes things that are similar or analogous.
Their opinions on the matter were parallel to each other.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Perpendicular

In architecture, perpendicular style refers to a Gothic style.
The cathedral is known for its perpendicular Gothic architecture.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Parallel

In literature, parallel narratives run alongside each other.
The novel features parallel storylines that converge at the end.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Perpendicular

Perpendicular can describe an upright or vertical position.
The flagpole stands perpendicular to the ground.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Parallel

Parallel lines are equidistant lines that never intersect.
The two sides of a ladder form parallel lines.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Perpendicular

Perpendicular can mean something that directly opposes.
His views are perpendicular to the conventional wisdom.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Parallel

Parallel circuits have multiple paths for current to flow.
The electrical wiring in the house is set up in parallel circuits.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023

Perpendicular

Perpendicular forces act at right angles to a surface.
The pressure on the wing is perpendicular to its surface.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Parallel

Being an equal distance apart everywhere
Dancers in two parallel rows. See Usage Note at absolute.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 15, 2023

Perpendicular

(Mathematics) Intersecting at or forming right angles.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 15, 2023

Parallel

Of, relating to, or designating two or more straight coplanar lines that do not intersect.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 15, 2023

Perpendicular

Being at right angles to the horizontal; vertical.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 15, 2023

FAQs

Do parallel lines have the same length?

Not necessarily; they can be of different lengths.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 13, 2024

Can curves be parallel?

Yes, if they maintain a constant distance apart.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Are all intersecting lines perpendicular?

No, only if they intersect at a right angle.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 13, 2024

Are parallel lines always straight?

In geometry, yes, they are straight lines.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 13, 2024

Can three or more lines be perpendicular?

No, only two lines can be perpendicular to each other at a point.
Janet White
Jan 13, 2024

How do you identify perpendicular lines?

They intersect at a 90-degree angle.
Huma Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

What is a key property of parallel lines?

They never intersect and maintain a constant distance.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Can perpendicular lines be extended?

Yes, but they will always remain perpendicular at the point of intersection.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

How does the perpendicular style influence architecture?

It features vertical lines and elaborate window tracery.
Harlon Moss
Jan 13, 2024

What's an example of perpendicular forces in physics?

Gravity acting at a right angle to a plane surface.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Can parallel lines meet at infinity?

Theoretically in projective geometry, but not in Euclidean geometry.
Janet White
Jan 13, 2024

How does slope relate to parallel lines?

Parallel lines have the same slope.
Harlon Moss
Jan 13, 2024

Is it possible to have parallel lines on a sphere?

No, due to the curvature, lines on a sphere eventually intersect.
Harlon Moss
Jan 13, 2024

Do perpendicular lines have to be the same length?

No, their lengths can vary.
Janet White
Jan 13, 2024

Can two lines be both parallel and perpendicular?

No, it's not possible for lines to be both.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Can a line be parallel to itself?

In geometry, a line is always parallel to itself.
Harlon Moss
Jan 13, 2024

Are parallel lines always equidistant?

Yes, that's a defining property of parallel lines.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

How are perpendicular lines used in construction?

For creating right angles in structures.
Janet White
Jan 13, 2024

What instruments are used to draw perpendicular lines?

A set square or a right-angle ruler.
Janet White
Jan 13, 2024

How are parallel lines used in mapping?

They're used as latitude lines on maps.
Janet White
Jan 13, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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