pa·​ra | \ ˈpär-ə How to pronounce para (audio) \
plural paras or para

Definition of para

 (Entry 1 of 6)

1a : any of several monetary units of the Turkish Empire
b : a coin representing one para
2 [Serbian & Croatian, from Turkish] — see dinar at Money Table

Definition of para (Entry 2 of 6)


variants: or par-

Definition of para- (Entry 3 of 6)

1 : beside : alongside of : beyond : aside from parathyroid parenteral
2a : closely related to paraldehyde
b : involving substitution at or characterized by two opposite positions in the benzene ring that are separated by two carbon atoms paradichlorobenzene
3a : faulty : abnormal paresthesia
b : associated in a subsidiary or accessory capacity paramedical
c : closely resembling : almost paratyphoid

Definition of para- (Entry 4 of 6)

: parachute paratrooper
plural -paras or -parae

Definition of -para (Entry 5 of 6)

: woman delivered of (so many) children primipara


geographical name
Pa·​rá | \ pə-ˈrä How to pronounce Pará (audio) \

Definition of Pará (Entry 6 of 6)

1 river 200 miles (322 kilometers) long in northern Brazil constituting the eastern mouth of the Amazon
2 state of northern Brazil on the Atlantic and south of the Amazon; capital Belém area 481,836 square miles (1,247,955 square kilometers), population 7,581,051
3 — see belém

Examples of para in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The California Interscholastic Federation launched its para division in late 2015, and the first state meet to include para athletes was held in June of 2016. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: San Diego para athletes get the spotlight — and inspire — in a new documentary," 1 May 2021 Informed by family of her ataxia cerebral palsy, Barranco suggested Sloan compete in para swimming. Edward Lee,, "‘I can’t wait’: Westminster’s Hannah Sloan to compete in U.S. Paralympic trials as Mount St. Mary’s first para swimmer," 28 Apr. 2021 Also, some para-athletes may have congenital conditions that can affect the size of certain bones, which makes extrapolating height from bone length a fraught exercise. New York Times, "A Double Amputee’s Hopes for the Olympics Are in Jeopardy," 26 Apr. 2021 Omar Mamoon is a San Francisco writer, cookie dough professional, and founder of nonprofit Libros para Todos. Omar Mamoon, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Area's next wave of pizza pop-ups has arrived. Here's where to go," 23 Apr. 2021 International spectators are prohibited from attending the Tokyo Games, due to the ongoing pandemic, which means many athletes and para athletes competing there will not be able to share the experience with family and loved ones. Christian Red, Forbes, "A Postponement Of Olympics Created Challenges - And Opportunities - For Athletes Headed To Tokyo," 6 Apr. 2021 Robin Heller, her coach at SEASTARS Aquatics in Pensacola, noted Sarah Kate has already set national para-swimming records in her age group and added the Paralympics is an obtainable goal. al, "St. Michael Catholic swimmer Sarah Kate Sligh chasing paralympic dream," 1 Apr. 2021 Un ninja americano viaja de Japón a los Estados Unidos para evitar que el yakuza obtenga unas armas. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘My Fair Lady’; ‘Marry Poppins’," 19 Mar. 2021 For the first time, the OHSAA added two para-swimming events to the state championship meet. cleveland, "Hail to Hawken! Depth carries Hawks to Div. II boys state swimming title, matching girls’ triumph Wednesday," 26 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'para.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of para


1687, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for para


Turkish, from Persian pāra, literally, piece, scrap


Greek, from para; akin to Greek pro before — more at for

Combining form

extracted from parachute entry 1

Noun combining form

Latin, from parere to give birth to — more at pare

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Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Para.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for para



English Language Learners Definition of para-

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: beyond or outside of
: helping highly trained professionals by doing tasks that require less training

English Language Learners Definition of para- (Entry 2 of 2)

: parachute


\ ˈpar-ə How to pronounce para (audio) \
plural paras or parae\ ˈpar-​ˌē How to pronounce para (audio) \

Medical Definition of para

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a woman delivered of a specified number of children used in combination with a term or figure to indicate the number multiparaa 36-year-old para 5 — compare gravida


\ ˈpar-ə How to pronounce para (audio) \

Medical Definition of para (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : relating to, characterized by, or being two positions in the benzene ring that are separated by two carbon atoms
2 : of, relating to, or being a diatomic molecule (as of hydrogen) in which the nuclei of the atoms are spinning in opposite directions


\ ˌpar-ə, ˈpar-ə How to pronounce para- (audio) \
variants: or par-

Medical Definition of para- (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : closely related to paraldehyde
2 : involving substitution at or characterized by two opposite positions in the benzene ring that are separated by two carbon atoms paradichlorobenzene abbreviation p- — compare meta- sense 2, orth- sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on para

Britannica English: Translation of para for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about para

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