from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Equality, as in amount, status, or value.
  • n. Functional equivalence, as in the weaponry or military strength of adversaries: "A problem that has troubled the U.S.-Soviet relationship from the beginning has been the issue of parity” ( Charles William Maynes).
  • n. The equivalent in value of a sum of money expressed in terms of a different currency at a fixed official rate of exchange.
  • n. Equality of prices of goods or securities in two different markets.
  • n. A level for farm-product prices maintained by governmental support and intended to give farmers the same purchasing power they had during a chosen base period.
  • n. Mathematics The even or odd quality of an integer. If two integers are both odd or both even, they are said to have the same parity; if one is odd and one even, they have different parity.
  • n. Physics An intrinsic symmetry property of subatomic particles that is characterized by the behavior of the wave function of such particles under reflection through the origin of spatial coordinates.
  • n. Physics A quantum number, either +1 (even) or -1 (odd), that mathematically describes this property.
  • n. Computer Science The even or odd quality of the number of 1's or 0's in a binary code, often used to determine the integrity of data especially after transmission.
  • n. Computer Science A parity bit.
  • n. The condition of having given birth.
  • n. The number of children borne by one woman.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Equality; comparability of strength or intensity.
  • n. A set with the property of having all of its elements belonging to one of two disjoint subsets, especially a set of integers split in subsets of even and odd elements.
  • n. The classification of an element of a set with parity into one of the two sets.
  • n. Symmetry of interactions under spatial inversion.
  • n. In reversi, the last move within a given sector of the board.
  • n. The number of times a woman has given birth.
  • n. The number of times a sow has farrowed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or condition of being equal or equivalent; a like state or degree; equality; equivalence; close correspondence; analogy.
  • n. Equivalence in value to the currency of another country.
  • n. A property assigned to elementary particles, conceptualized as a form of symmetry, representing the fact that no fundamental distinctions can be observed between right-handed and left-handed systems of particles in their interactions, and supported by the typical observation that the total parity of a system is unchanged as particles are created or annihilated; however, certain interactions involving the weak force have been shown to violate the principle of conservation of parity.
  • n. A property of the wave function of a system, which takes the value of +1 or -1, indicating whether the value of the wave function changes sign if each of the variables of the system is replaced by its negative.
  • n. The condition of having borne a child or children, alive or dead.
  • n. The property of being even or odd.
  • n. The property of having an even or odd number of bits set to the value of 1 (as opposed to 0); -- applied to bytes or larger groups of bits in a data structure. It is used mostly in the process of parity checking. The parity of a data structure can be changed by changing the value of the parity bit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Equality; similarity or close correspondence or equivalence as regards state, position, condition, quality, degree, etc.
  • n. In logic,analogy; similarity; similar or like course, as of reasoning or argument.
  • n. Specifically, in ecclesiastical history,the equality of religious bodies in their relations to the state, their standing in universities, etc.; the principle of such equality; in Presbyterian churches, the equality of all the members of the clerical order.
  • n. The condition of being able to bear offspring.
  • n. In banking and com.: An equivalence in the currency of another country. See mint par, under par.
  • n. Equivalence in or between money of different metals as legal tender, in the proportions of weight and quality fixed by law.
  • n. Same as par, 3.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. functional equality
  • n. (computer science) a bit that is used in an error detection procedure in which a 0 or 1 is added to each group of bits so that it will have either an odd number of 1's or an even number of 1's; e.g., if the parity is odd then any group of bits that arrives with an even number of 1's must contain an error
  • n. (mathematics) a relation between a pair of integers: if both integers are odd or both are even they have the same parity; if one is odd and the other is even they have different parity
  • n. (physics) parity is conserved in a universe in which the laws of physics are the same in a right-handed system of coordinates as in a left-handed system
  • n. (obstetrics) the number of liveborn children a woman has delivered


French parité, from Old French parite, from Late Latin paritās, from pār, par-, equal; see pair.
Latin parere, to give birth, bring forth; see perə-1 in Indo-European roots + -ity.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French parité, from Latin paritas, from pār ("equal") (Wiktionary)
From Latin paritas, from pariō ("give birth") (Wiktionary)



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