Definition of parsec in English:


(also pc)

Pronunciation /ˈpärsek/ /ˈpɑrsɛk/


  • 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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their absolute magnitude is that of their appearance at 10 parsecs, or 32.6 light-years.’
    • ‘The fact remained that the Rage fleet was within a parsec of Nova.’


Early 20th century blend of parallax and second.



/ˈpärsek/ /ˈpɑrsɛk/