pa·​ro·​chi·​al | \ pə-ˈrō-kē-əl How to pronounce parochial (audio) \

Definition of parochial

1 : of or relating to a church parish our pastor and other parochial leaders
2 : of or relating to a parish as a unit of local government parochial authorities serve the inhabitants of Louisiana's parishes
3 : confined or restricted as if within the borders of a parish : limited in range or scope (as to a narrow area or region) : provincial, narrow

Other Words from parochial

parochially \ pə-​ˈrō-​kē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce parochial (audio) \ adverb

Did you know?

In the Greek of the New Testament, the word paroikia means "temporary residence in a foreign land" and comes from the Greek word for "stranger": paroikos. Early Christians used this designation for their colonies because they considered heaven their real home. But temporary or not, these Christian colonies became more organized as time went on. Thus, in Late Latin, parochia became the designation for a group of Christians in a given area under the leadership of one pastor—what we came to call a parish in the 14th century. Both parish and its related adjective parochial were borrowed at that time directly from Anglo-French terms that had been derived from the Late Latin. We didn't begin to use parochial in its "narrow" sense until the mid-19th century.

Examples of parochial in a Sentence

It has never been clearer that the country's best self is a global inheritance, its worst a parochial self-certainty. — Jedediah Purdy, New York Times Book Review, 22 Feb. 2009 There is no patience for the parochial, the small-time, the stay-in-place, not in Los Angeles. — Richard Hoffer, Sports Illustrated, 8 Sept. 2008 … during the mid-1780s, Madison had two great goals. The first was to inculcate an enlightened sense of national interest in legislators whose political instincts were innately parochial. — Jack N. Rakove, Original Meanings … , 1996 our pastor and other parochial leaders voters worried about their own parochial concerns
Recent Examples on the Web The additional funds will help the organization expand the program into more schools in Waukesha County, including at private and parochial schools. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 May 2022 We weren’t even done having children, and parochial schools would mean even more budget stress, no school bus, and more pressure on me to earn real money. Rachel Lu, National Review, 17 Mar. 2022 In an era when parochial schools often are budget-strapped, Mary, Seat of Wisdom has a therapist and counselor on staff. George Castle,, 14 Mar. 2022 Seton, a parochial all-girls school in East Price Hill, ushered its senior students into the auditorium for an announcement the week after Gov. Mike DeWine lifted a 300-person capacity limit for banquet halls and catering facilities. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, 23 Mar. 2021 Per-student state funding lost due to school choice options, such as community and parochial schools and through open enrollment (i.e. students leaving to attend another public school), was much greater. Beth Mlady, cleveland, 11 Mar. 2022 According to Philly Voice, the donation will go toward covering tuition costs at private and parochial schools to allow lower-income students to enroll. Shafiq Najib,, 23 Feb. 2022 For a more extensive lists that includes daycare centers, church events, charter schools, and smaller parochial schools, go to WKYC Channel 3 or WEWS Channel 5. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 17 Jan. 2022 Catholic and other parochial schools still exist, of course—and many of them receive public funds. Rachel Donadio, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parochial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of parochial

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for parochial

Middle English parochiall, from Anglo-French parochial, from Late Latin parochialis, from parochia parish — more at parish

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The first known use of parochial was in the 14th century

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parochial church council

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Parochial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for parochial


pa·​ro·​chi·​al | \ pə-ˈrō-kē-əl How to pronounce parochial (audio) \

Legal Definition of parochial

: of or relating to a parish

More from Merriam-Webster on parochial

Nglish: Translation of parochial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of parochial for Arabic Speakers


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