par·a·graph | \ˈper-ə-ˌgraf, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from paragraph


paragraphic \ˌper-ə-ˈgra-fik, 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The last paragraph of the news release commended the Roseville Police Department detectives. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "'All have beards that were very similar': 7 accused at Roseville water park not charged," 27 June 2018 Four paragraphs of run-on sentences are usually a clue. The Cut, "The Sober Gym Manager in an Unconventional Relationship," 17 June 2018 How about that—a full 2,000-word golf column that didn't mention Tiger until the very last paragraph! Daniel Rapaport,, "FORE Questions: On Slow Play, 'Backstopping" and Offbeat U.S. Open Storylines," 11 June 2018 Post updated in the second-to-last paragraph to add details about iframe protections. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Chrome and Firefox leaks let sites steal visitors’ Facebook names, profile pics," 31 May 2018 Then on Thursday, the Daily Caller named Halper in the opening paragraph of its report. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "FBI plant in Trump campaign was US-born Cambridge professor, reports say," 20 May 2018 The documents share full paragraphs of identical information, with changes to the parties involved, the amount paid, and some other details. Sara Sidner And Scott Glover, CNN, "Hush money deals business as usual for Stormy Daniels' ex-attorney," 27 Apr. 2018 All specifics were redacted except for three paragraphs of an April 6 meeting. Ann Doss Helms, charlotteobserver, "Denial, delay and redactions: Our quest to get minutes of CMS board’s closed meetings | Charlotte Observer," 12 Mar. 2018 Check out the second paragraph below and then his final grade. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "11 Pictures That Prove Everything You've Ever Known is a Lie," 17 June 2015

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.

See More

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


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


see paragraph entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about paragraph

Statistics for paragraph

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paragraph

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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).


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!