What is a word that includes both parallel and antiparallel ?

This bothers me all the time when I do my math or physics homework.

  • 4
    Strictly speaking, parallel is the hypernym -- antiparallel is, a type of parallel. Incidentally, the "ortho-" parallel is the other type (hyponym). – Kris Oct 23 '14 at 20:29
  • @Kris Ooooh, ok, I was wondering if that was the case. That answers my question. Why do people always answer questions in comments... – michaelsnowden Oct 24 '14 at 15:37

Those are words used to describe the orientation of lines relative to other lines. I would use "relative orientation".


It seems that direction would be a good hypernym. Parallel is a way of describing a direction or orientation of an object:

Parallel 1. a : extending in the same direction, everywhere equidistant, and not meeting

Source (Merriam-Webster)

Antiparallel is similar

Antiparallel: parallel but oppositely directed or oriented

Source (Merriam-Webster)

  • 1
    That is not quite how you find a common parent. Direction is but one part of the story. – Kris Oct 23 '14 at 20:23

The word you need is collinear. Collinear vectors could have same or opposite directions. https://math.tutorvista.com/calculus/collinear-vectors.html

  • Could you provide an example, please? – Юрий Шабалин Nov 13 '18 at 17:18
  • Never mind. You are correct, under standard representation and definiots, parallel" and "collinear" are synonymous terms for vectors. – Mark Beadles Nov 13 '18 at 17:54

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