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 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 Six days after the women’s civil suit was filed against Farley, West Linn police issued a one-paragraph press release on Oct. 28, identifying a detective assigned to investigate. oregonlive, "Women speak out against ‘master manipulator’ Oregon doctor who photographed children’s genitals, performed unwanted exams," 20 Nov. 2020 No paragraph has been written without linking President Trump to every national and worldly problem today. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: GOP's Texas lawsuit, the Electoral College," 16 Dec. 2020 Story updated in the third paragraph to included changes in the FBI/DHS advisory. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "FBI/DHS: Government election systems face threat from active Zerologon exploits," 9 Oct. 2020 That novel had a single, shocking paragraph in its final pages that quite literally knocked the wind out of me. WSJ, "Leaders in Literature, Politics and Arts Share Their Favorite Books of 2020," 11 Dec. 2020 Gosnell’s proof pages were a sight to behold, said Thomas Curwen, a Times narrative writer: copy circled on nearly every page, every sentence and paragraph — and that was after three editors had already combed for errors. Los Angeles Times, "Kathy Gosnell, veteran L.A. Times copy editor who perfected the paper’s signature stories, dies at 75," 8 Dec. 2020 Many critics were also bewildered that the Times ran the new allegation in the 11th paragraph of the story. Paul Best, Fox News, "Kavanaugh should face new investigation, Biden transition official Barbara McQuade wrote," 21 Nov. 2020 Post updated on 10/27/2020, 3:47 California time to correct details in the sixth paragraph. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Study shows which messengers leak your data, drain your battery, and more," 26 Oct. 2020 This paragraph is indicative of Smith’s style, down to the sloppy em-dash in the final sentence (where is its partner?). Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "How Does Ben Smith Sleep at Night?," 27 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for paragraph

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paragraph.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for paragraph


How to pronounce paragraph (audio)

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)

More from Merriam-Webster on paragraph

Nglish: Translation of paragraph for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of paragraph for Arabic Speakers

Comments on paragraph

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