1. <anatomy> A combining form or prefix signifying alongside of, adjacent to, distinct from, beside, beyond, against, amiss; as parable, literally, a placing beside; parathyroid, paradox, that which is contrary to opinion; parachronism.

2. <chemistry> A prefix denoting likeness, similarity, or connection, or that the substance resembles, but is distinct from, that to the name of which it is prefixed; as paraldehyde, paraconine, etc.; also, an isomeric modification.

Can be used specifically to indicate that two groups or radicals substituted in the benzene nucleus are opposite, or in the respective positions 1 and 4; 2 and 5; or 3 and 6, as paraxylene; paroxybenzoic acid.

Compare: ortho-, meta-.

Origin: Gr. para beside; prob. akin to E. for- in forgive.

(05 Feb 2009)

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