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

Essential Meaning 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 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.

Full 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

Other Words from paragraph


paragraphic \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈgra-​fik How to pronounce paragraph (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 two-paragraph order, issued by Republican Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, was a victory for voting rights advocates and Democrats who had challenged the lines as unconstitutionally gerrymandered. Julie Carr Smyth, ajc, 12 Jan. 2022 The Uncut Gems actress has gone ahead and published a two-paragraph dispatch in Interview magazine walking us through her odd second date with Ye. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 7 Jan. 2022 The four-paragraph article was purportedly written by a maternity ward nurse named Elizabeth Mwewa. Chiara Vercellone, USA TODAY, 29 Dec. 2021 In 2020, amid rumors of the franchise’s potential sale, a lawyer for the holding company asserted them in a brief three-paragraph letter delivered to the Broncos facility—and triggered this latest bout of litigation. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, 28 Dec. 2021 Still, the above paragraph doesn’t really tell the full story of how confused is the Keynesian outlook. John Tamny, Forbes, 26 Dec. 2021 Potter’s attorneys objected to the judge rereading that instruction, arguing that doing so inappropriately emphasized that paragraph over the rest of the instructions. Scott Bauer,, 21 Dec. 2021 Recalls Article 3, paragraph 5, of the Convention and the importance of cooperation to address climate change and support sustainable economic growth and development; 58. CNN, 12 Nov. 2021 On the other hand, I am personally haunted by the opening paragraph of this 2013 profile in which hundreds of people, most of them without access to regular medical care, lined up before dawn to be seen by the doctor. Molly Osberg, The New Republic, 10 Nov. 2021

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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Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Paragraph.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for paragraph


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)

More from Merriam-Webster on paragraph

Nglish: Translation of paragraph for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of paragraph for Arabic Speakers


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