Suppose I want to say something like

"The author draws a parallel between the spider and the man by doing this...".

Is there a word I can use in place of "draws a parallel between"?

  • 1
    Try "...author compares the spider to the man by...". More context would be nice.
    – NVZ
    Mar 26, 2016 at 19:03
  • 2
    Parallel can also be a verb: "the increase in the quality of wines has paralleled the rise of interest in food"
    – NVZ
    Mar 26, 2016 at 19:04
  • 4
    Well, there's "parallelize", but I've only seen it in the sense of making two things parallel.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 26, 2016 at 19:12
  • 1
    @NVZ But in this example draws a parallel is being used in the sense of making a comparison 9as someone else has pointed out). I have never seen the verb parallel used in that sense.
    – WS2
    Mar 26, 2016 at 20:51
  • 4
    To make parallel is not the same as to draw [point out] a parallel between. Mar 26, 2016 at 21:34

7 Answers 7


To draw a parallel basically means to compare. Other words that can work include relate and connect. In your context, the author is drawing a relationship or a connection between the spider and the man.

(As defined on dictionary.com)

compare - to consider or describe as similar

relate - to bring into or establish association, connection, or relation

connect - to relate or associate


I tend to prefer this verb for this sort of analogy:

liken - consider or describe as similar, equal, or analogous

Though it's not a pure fill-in given the question here. You would generally not use liken with "the" articles attached to both "spider" and "man."

"The author likened the spider to a man," is perfectly acceptable though. Or, if a specific man is being described as spiderlike, the other way around: "the author likened the man to a spider."


"Compare" is a good replacement. You could also use:

To draw/make/suggest an analogy

Source: Merriam Webster

1 : inference that if two or more things agree with one another in some respects they will probably agree in others

2 a : resemblance in some particulars between things otherwise unlike : similarity

b : comparison based on such resemblance

3 : correspondence between the members of pairs or sets of linguistic forms that serves as a basis for the creation of another form


The verb "analogize" exists, but is a bit awkward.


I believe that "equate" would be a good replacement for your example.

"The author equates the spider with the man by doing this..."

From Merriam Webster:

Equate: to treat, represent, or regard as equal, equivalent, or comparable.

If you are looking for a looser connection than equality between the two objects (in your case, the spider and the man), I would prefer, as @Jon already noted, the word "relates":

"The author relates the spider and the man by doing this..."

From Merriam Webster:

Relate: to show or establish logical or causal connection between.



Used in an 1825 translation of a book by Blaise Pascal.


It is very unjust, therefore, to pretend that theirs are as well sustained as ours, when they have no figures of established interpretation to refer to as we have. The two cases are not parallel. Men should not parallelize and confound two things, because in one respect they appear similar, seeing that in another, they are so different.

  • +1 Nice find, but isn't parallelize used in computing mostly? Would it be understood if used outside of computing?
    – NVZ
    Mar 27, 2016 at 18:54
  • @NVZ - You're saying that a person of average intelligence can't figure out the meaning of "parallelize" even if they've never heard it before??
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 27, 2016 at 20:27
  • @NVZ - And I saw dozens of other references -- the above is just one of the oldest that isn't used too obscurely to serve as a decent example.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 27, 2016 at 20:29

Two unorthodox thoughts:

  • The author connects the situation of spider and man.

  • The author maps the situation of spider to the situation of man.

  • Mapping/connecting is much stronger than making a parallelism, i.e. a comparison, however.
    – edmz
    Mar 27, 2016 at 16:22
  • @black: I myself don't feel that this is the answer OP is looking for. These are just some suggestions which may be useful for people reading the answers who have a question similar to this one. Mar 27, 2016 at 20:36

Many of the provided answers are sound. You may also consider verbs such as juxtapose/s (to place side by side), juxtaposit/s (to place in close connection), and identify/ies (consider to be equal or the same [especially in relation to people or archetypes]).

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