par·​a·​graph | \ ˈper-ə-ˌgraf How to pronounce paragraph (audio) , ˈpa-rə- \

Definition of paragraph

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a subdivision of a written composition that consists of one or more sentences, deals with one point or gives the words of one speaker, and begins on a new usually indented line The introductory paragraphs were written by the editor.
b : a short composition or note that is complete in one paragraph
2 : a character (such as ¶) used to indicate the beginning of a paragraph and as a reference mark


paragraphed; paragraphing; paragraphs

Definition of paragraph (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to write paragraphs about
2 : to divide into paragraphs

intransitive verb

: to write paragraphs

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Other Words from paragraph


paragraphic \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈgra-​fik How to pronounce paragraphic (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ adjective

Examples of paragraph in a Sentence

Noun In the second paragraph from the bottom, you've misspelled “their” as “thier.” Please refer to section 2, paragraph 4 for the appropriate information. The two introductory paragraphs were written by the editor.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Oregonian runs detailed accounts of the Penn-Harvard and Yale-Princeton games, but the local rivalry receives just three paragraphs on Page 2. 1898: UO 38, OSU 0. oregonlive, "Civil War football history: The Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers’ 122 meetings, game by game," 25 Nov. 2019 Create a summary of each of your roles, present them in a paragraph format, and remove statements that add little to no value to your candidacy. Dear Sam | Expert Resume, al, "Leave hiring managers feeling ‘full’ and ‘satisfied’ after reviewing your resume," 22 Nov. 2019 This sums it up Kaep’s situation in one tidy paragraph, from Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel: The golden rule? Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: We're all going insane. Check out this defense of Maurkice Pouncey.," 20 Nov. 2019 The decree contains 577 paragraphs that contain some requirement for the city in the coming years, and Hickey’s first report examined the 67 that held mandates for the first six months of the order. Dan Hinkel,, "CPD fails to meet most deadlines for court-ordered reform, but it’s still early, monitor says," 15 Nov. 2019 Rape case mistrial highlights tensions, Nov. 10, Front Page Because of a production error, several paragraphs were omitted from the print version of the story., "Corrections, Nov. 11," 10 Nov. 2019 But machines are aeons away from being able to recreate rhetorical and argumentative flow across paragraphs and pages. The Economist, "Don’t fear the Writernator," 31 Oct. 2019 The paragraph containing the proposal to allow married men to be ordained priests received the required majority 128-41, according to the AP., "Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston, got a shout-out from the pope on Oct. 26.," 29 Oct. 2019 The price is clearly tempting, but that paragraph above may give some pause. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "The 2019 iPad races to the bottom (price-wise), but it’s not so bad down there," 23 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paragraph.' 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 paragraph


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1764, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for paragraph

Noun and Verb

Middle English paragraf marginal sign marking a paragraph, from Anglo-French parogref, from Medieval Latin paragraphus, from Greek paragraphos line used to mark change of persons in a dialogue, from paragraphein to write alongside, from para- + graphein to write — more at carve

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Time Traveler for paragraph

Time Traveler

The first known use of paragraph was in the 15th century

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Statistics for paragraph

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Paragraph.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for paragraph


How to pronounce paragraph (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of paragraph

: a part of a piece of writing that usually deals with one subject, that begins on a new line, and that is made up of one or more sentences


para·​graph | \ ˈper-ə-ˌgraf How to pronounce paragraph (audio) \

Kids Definition of paragraph

: a part of a piece of writing that is made up of one or more sentences and has to do with one topic or gives the words of one speaker



Legal Definition of paragraph

: a distinct often numbered or otherwise designated section of a document or writing (as a statute or pleading)

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More from Merriam-Webster on paragraph

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with paragraph

Spanish Central: Translation of paragraph

Nglish: Translation of paragraph for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of paragraph for Arabic Speakers

Comments on paragraph

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