parry

verb
par·​ry | \ ˈper-ē How to pronounce parry (audio) , 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

Biden avoided a moment like the one Harris elicited last month, and largely parried whatever attacks the other candidates threw his way. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Status Quo Joe," 1 Aug. 2019 Esparza parried with his left hand, knocking his radio to the ground. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "Federal judge upholds Huntington Beach officer’s use of deadly force in 2017 shooting," 31 July 2019 Mueller is a former FBI director who spent 12 years parrying questions from lawmakers at oversight hearings, and decades before that as a prosecutor who asked questions of his own. Dallas News, "Robert Mueller testifies before Congress, dismisses Trump's claims of Russia probe exoneration," 24 July 2019 Mueller is a former FBI director who spent 12 years parrying questions from lawmakers at oversight hearings, and decades before that as a prosecutor who asked questions of his own. Michael Balsamo, Twin Cities, "Mueller dismisses Trump’s claims of Russia probe exoneration," 24 July 2019 With pressure mounting as the Raptors kept parrying punches, Golden State unraveled. Dan Woike, latimes.com, "Warriors will need a miracle to claw back against the Raptors," 7 June 2019 Biden is an experienced debater and knew how and when to parry the attacks that kept coming at him. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Billed as Biden-Sanders showdown, other candidates drive debate," 27 June 2019 But Peng then had to dive to parry a powerful strike from Valentina Bergamaschi as Italy looked close to a quick second goal against a China team that couldn’t handle its press and its trio of attackers. Joseph Wilson, The Denver Post, "Italy beats China, reaches first FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal since 1991," 25 June 2019 Binnington, who had been shakier than a shopping cart with an unruly, runaway wheel in the series, managed to flash his pad to parry away a primo scoring chance by Joakim Nordstrom with 11:03 left in the game. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Once again, an imperfect finish for Tuukka Rask," 13 June 2019

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

17 Aug 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 How to pronounce parry (audio) \
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

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