Definition of parry
- parried forcefully and knocked his opponent's sword out of his hand
- can parry and thrust … without losing the thread of his argument
- —Stewart Cockburn
- parried the thrust of his opponent's sword
- parried the question
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He parried the thrust of his opponent's sword.
He parried and then threw a punch.
She cleverly parried the reporters' questions.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Parry (which is used in fencing, among other applications) probably comes from parez, a form of the French verb parer, meaning "to guard or ward off." Its history can be compared with that of two other English words: parapet and parasol. Those two terms go back to an Italian word (parare) that means "to shield or guard." (A parapet shields soldiers and a parasol wards off the sun.) All three—parry, parapet, and parasol—can ultimately be traced to the Latin parare, meaning "to prepare." And they're not alone. Other descendants of the Latin term include apparatus, disparate, emperor, and even prepare.
First Known Use: 1671See Words from the same year
: to defend yourself by turning or pushing aside (a punch, a weapon, etc.)
: to avoid giving a direct answer to (a question) by being skillful or clever
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