Definition of parsec in English:


Syllabification: par·sec
Pronunciation: /ˈpärˌsek
(abbreviation: pc)


  • A unit of distance used in astronomy, equal to about 3.26 light years (3.086 × 1013 kilometers). One parsec corresponds to the distance at which the mean radius of the earth’s orbit subtends an angle of one second of arc.
    More example sentences
    • But cosmologists are so comfortable with millions and billions that none of them feel the urge to invent a unit much beyond the light-year or the parsec.
    • I mean, all the ones that I've looked at so far are within 100 parsecs of 300 light years of the Sun.
    • For reference, one parsec is around three light years.


early 20th century: blend of parallax and second2.

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