parry

verb
par·​ry | \ ˈper-ē, ˈpa-rē\
parried; parrying

Definition of parry

intransitive verb

1 : to ward off a weapon or blow parried forcefully and knocked his opponent's sword out of his hand
2 : to evade or turn aside something can parry and thrust … without losing the thread of his argument— Stewart Cockburn

transitive verb

1 : to ward off (something, such as a blow) parried the thrust of his opponent's sword
2 : to evade especially by an adroit answer parried the question

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Other Words from parry

parry noun

What do parry, parapet, and parasol have in common?

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.

Examples of parry in a Sentence

He parried the thrust of his opponent's sword. He parried and then threw a punch. She cleverly parried the reporters' questions.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Officials in San Jose, Calif., have tried to parry that offensive by fast-tracking installations for carriers that have agreed to help fund a local internet-access initiative. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, "Across the U.S., 5G Runs Into Local Resistance," 13 Sep. 2018 In the midst of a week that has seen May parrying threats to her hold on power, Trump second-guessed her handling of the main issue on her plate: how Britain should cut its ties to the European Union. BostonGlobe.com, "At NATO, Trump claims allies make new defense spending commitments after he upends summit," 13 July 2018 Sanchez injected a fresh dose of dynamism to Manchester United and scored — immediately after a penalty was parried — on his debut to seal a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield. USA TODAY, "Mkhitaryan, Sanchez prosper at new homes after transfer swap," 3 Feb. 2018 Paula, uncommonly serious, seems not only aware but also wary of both her father’s gaze and ours—quick to meet and parry them with her own. Gabriella Fuller, ELLE Decor, "Photographer Hendrik Kerstens Is a Modern Day Dutch Master," 16 Oct. 2018 Mnuchin parried questions from Hensarling and several others about how the administration is weighing economic damage into its decision-making by assuring them that Trump officials are focused on the matter. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Mnuchin is in denial about the pain Trump's tariffs are inducing," 13 July 2018 Cavani sealed the win on 90 minutes by tapping home the rebound, after Akinfeev had parried Godin's header. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Uruguay win group as Suarez inspires 3-0 win over 10-man Russia," 25 June 2018 Programs parry the loss of depth but searching for their own transfer. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Quarterback transfers altering college football's landscape because 'culture has changed'," 29 June 2018 Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech was twice denied by saves from Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, who pushed away a powerful rising shot in the 83rd minute and parried a first-half effort against the post. Graham Dunbar, chicagotribune.com, "Morocco held by Ukraine in World Cup prep friendly," 31 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of parry

1671, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for parry

borrowed from French parer "to ward off, avert" (perhaps directly from the plural imperative parez), going back to Middle French, probably borrowed from Italian parare "to prepare, adorn, avert, shield, keep out," going back to Latin parāre "to supply, provide, make ready" — more at pare

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Statistics for parry

Last Updated

5 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for parry

The first known use of parry was in 1671

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More Definitions for parry

parry

verb

English Language Learners Definition of parry

: 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

parry

verb
par·​ry | \ ˈper-ē \
parried; parrying

Kids Definition of parry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to turn aside an opponent's weapon or blow
2 : to avoid by a skillful answer She parried an embarrassing question.

parry

noun
plural parries

Kids Definition of parry (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of skillfully avoiding something

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More from Merriam-Webster on parry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with parry

Spanish Central: Translation of parry

Nglish: Translation of parry for Spanish Speakers

Comments on parry

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