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A parabola is the set of all points in a plane that are equidistant from a fixed line and a fixed point (not on the line) in the plane. 


The fixed line is called the directrix of the parabola and the fixed point F is called the focus Fig.   (‘Para’ means ‘for’ and ‘bola’ means ‘throwing’, i.e., the shape described when you throw a ball in the air). 

A line through the focus  and perpendicular to the directrix  is called the axis of the parabola. The point of intersection of parabola with the axis is called the vertex of the parabola Fig.

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