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paragon

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noun par·a·gon \ ˈper-ə-ˌgän , -gən , ˈpa-rə- \

Definition of paragon

:a model of excellence or perfection
  • was a paragon of goodness
  • a paragon of a wife

paragon was our Word of the Day on 11/30/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of paragon in a Sentence

  1. in Arthurian legend, Sir Galahad is depicted as the one knight who is a paragon of virtue

Recent Examples of paragon from the Web

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

paragon Has Old Italian and Greek Roots

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."

Origin and Etymology of paragon

Middle French, from Old Italian paragone, literally, touchstone, from paragonare to test on a touchstone, from Greek parakonan to sharpen, from para- + akonē whetstone, from akē point; akin to Greek akmē point — more at edge


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paragon

verb

Definition of paragon

transitive verb
1 :to compare with :parallel
2 :to put in rivalry :match
3 obsolete :surpass

Origin and Etymology of paragon



PARAGON Defined for English Language Learners

paragon

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noun

Definition of paragon for English Language Learners

  • : 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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