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par·​a·​graph ˈper-ə-ˌgraf How to pronounce paragraph (audio)
: 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.
: a short composition or note that is complete in one paragraph
: a character (such as ¶) used to indicate the beginning of a paragraph and as a reference mark
paragraphic adjective


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paragraphed; paragraphing; paragraphs

transitive verb

: to write paragraphs about
: to divide into paragraphs

intransitive verb

: to write paragraphs

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Copilot in PowerPoint can also optimize text — such as turning bullet points into paragraphs (or vice versa) or changing the tone. Jess Weatherbed, The Verge, 9 May 2023 The paragraph, which was included in a page about parents discussing symbols of the United States and Florida, was removed in the revision. Jack Birle, Washington Examiner, 9 May 2023 And this paragraph is referring to a lot more than two people. Gregg Doyel Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis Star, 3 Apr. 2023 During lengthy negotiations on the document, which has 93 paragraphs, U.N. diplomats said language on women’s rights was challenged by Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Holy See and human rights language was also challenged by those countries as well as Cuba and China. Edith M. Lederer, ajc, 19 Mar. 2023 The power company paragraph on billing inaccuracies is only 184 words long, but reads at an astonishing grade level of 77.4. John Archibald |, al, 16 Mar. 2023 But, in fact, there was quite an analytic debate within CIA about these two paragraphs that many senior officials at the Agency did not know about. CBS News, 15 Mar. 2023 Although players from both teams encroached, Law 14, paragraph 2 states if players from both teams offend, the kick is retaken. Manuel Veth, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2023 You’ve been stuck on writing the first paragraph of your report for hours. Lisa Mulcahy, Good Housekeeping, 24 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'paragraph.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use


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


1764, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near paragraph

Cite this Entry

“Paragraph.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a part of a writing or speech that develops in an organized manner one point of a subject or gives the words of one speaker
: a short written article (as in a newspaper) complete in one section


2 of 2 verb
: to divide into or write paragraphs

Legal Definition


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

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