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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Speaking of paragraphs buried deep in the op-ed, Mr. Zimmer also writes: Dr. Bustamante’s study had some clear limits. James Freeman, WSJ, "The New York Times and the Warren Math," 19 Oct. 2018 The handwritten, one-paragraph settlement also includes a $50,000 payment from the woman who was driving the car. David Gutman, The Seattle Times, "Washington state to pay $28 million to woman paralyzed in I-5 crash in Pierce County," 15 Oct. 2018 The reasons why Noel Cintron's lawsuit in Manhattan federal court was dropped were not described in a one-paragraph court filing Thursday. Fox News, "Ex-Trump chauffeur drops suit over unpaid overtime claims," 30 Aug. 2018 By day’s end, after the president had chastised him in a private meeting, Price had handed in to the White House a four-paragraph resignation letter. Amy Goldstein, Washington Post, "Former HHS secretary Tom Price’s air travel wasted $341,000 in government funds, watchdog says," 13 July 2018 Some high school students in Korea had to put the paragraphs of the speech in the right order for their English midterm. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, "BTS Member RM’s U.N. Speech Is Now Being Used in Schools," 5 Nov. 2018 Format paragraph Paragraph format options range from line spacing to alignment, indentations, and more. Jd Sartain, PCWorld, "How to create and share custom Style Sheets in Word and PowerPoint," 8 Aug. 2018 Clicking anywhere on the text takes you to a full page about the Apollo program on Encylopedia Brittanica, which briefly describes the Apollo 11 moon landing at the end of its second paragraph. Casey Newton, The Verge, "What YouTube could teach Facebook about conspiracies," 24 July 2018 Newcomers will be completely lost, however, as the author jumps from one tale to another, often within the same paragraph. Anchorage Daily News, "In ‘To the Ends of the Earth,’ an ambitious attempt to encompass era of polar exploration," 7 July 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


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

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Statistics for paragraph

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

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 \

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).


a nest or breeding place

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