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paradoxical containing or embodying two assertions or qualities that contradict each other, or seem to contradict each other.
paraffin an odorless waxy white substance derived from petroleum, wood, or coal and used to make candles, sealing materials, and waxed paper. [3 definitions]
paraffin series see alkane series.
paraffin wax paraffin in its solid form, used esp. in making candles, sealing preserving jars, and the like.
paragon a model of excellence or of a particular admirable quality.
paragraph in a written article, composition, speech, or the like, a distinct section composed of one or more sentences that is related to the main point but that expresses an idea in itself and begins on a new line, usually indented. [3 definitions]
Paraguay a central South American country between Argentina and Brazil.
Paraguay tea see maté.
parakeet a variety of small parrot, usu. having a long tapered tail.
paralegal a lawyer's assistant who has some training in legal matters, but who does not hold a law degree.
parallax the apparent change in the position of an observed object when seen from two different points.
parallel extending in the same direction and being the same distance apart at every point. [9 definitions]
parallel bars a set of two horizontal poles parallel to each other and supported by adjustable upright posts, on which gymnasts perform various acrobatic routines. [2 definitions]
parallelepiped a geometric solid having six surfaces, all of which are parallelograms.
parallelism similarity; resemblance; agreement. [3 definitions]
parallelogram a four-sided plane figure that has opposite sides parallel and equal to each other.
paralogism faulty reasoning; illogical argument.
paralyse a spelling of paralyze used in Canada and Britain. See paralyze for more information.
paralysis partial or complete loss of sensation or the ability to move in a body part, caused by injury or disease of the nervous system. [2 definitions]
paralysis agitans see Parkinson's disease.
paralytic one who is paralyzed. [3 definitions]