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


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

This root issue was left to the last paragraph of the joint statement, which mentioned the Comprehensive Development Plan launched by Mexico with the governments in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "A US-Mexico migration deal has defused Trump’s tariff threat—for now," 8 June 2019 Or is this the administration's position going forward — period, paragraph? Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Kirstjen Nielsen’s mighty struggle to explain separating families at the border, annotated," 19 June 2018 Several paragraphs of text on a nearby wall explain the relationship between the AC and the knife image. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "10 works to see at the 2018 Wisconsin Artists Biennial," 28 Feb. 2018 That third investigation appears to be described in one brief paragraph near the end of the memo, but it is fully redacted. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "4 takeaways from Mueller’s sentencing memo for Michael Flynn," 5 Dec. 2018 Kameny learned of his loss by reading a one-paragraph news item in the Washington Star. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, "The gay rights pioneer who demanded justice from the Supreme Court in 1960," 9 June 2018 Some students also were attempting to game the computer program by writing one spectacular paragraph and then repeating it over and over again. James Vaznis,, "Mass. ponders hiring a computer to grade MCAS essays. What could go wrong?," 21 May 2018 But in condensing 35 seasons of Indy-car history to one paragraph, Coyne does sort of gloss over decades of struggles on the racetrack and challenges at the bank. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Thirty-five years into his 'big climb,' Dale Coyne is closer to the peak than ever," 23 June 2018 After reading one too many multi-paragraph-long Facebook posts from friend-quaintences in their post-workout glee, curiosity got the best of me. Grace Dickinson,, "Which Philly-area spin studio classes are worth the hype and heavy price tag?," 29 May 2018

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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Statistics for paragraph

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paragraph

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

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More Definitions for paragraph



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

What made you want to look up paragraph? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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