Definition of paragon
- was a paragon of goodness
- a paragon of a wife
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in Arthurian legend, Sir Galahad is depicted as the one knight who is a paragon of virtue
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Paragon derives from the Old Italian word paragone, which literally means "touchstone." A touchstone is a black stone that was formerly used to judge the purity of gold or silver. The metal was rubbed on the stone and the color of the streak it left indicated its quality. In modern English, both touchstone and paragon have come to signify a standard against which something should be judged. Ultimately, paragon comes from the Greek parakonan, meaning "to sharpen," from the prefix para- ("alongside of") and akonē, meaning "whetstone."
First Known Use: circa 1548See Words from the same year
: a person or thing that is perfect or excellent in some way and should be considered a model or example to be copied
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