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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

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 The Spaniards started zeroing in, but Peng dove right to parry Virginia Torrecilla and Patri Guijarro shots from distance, then tipped a Hermoso chip over the bar. Frank Dell’apa, BostonGlobe.com, "For US women, Spain, China would pose different challenges," 17 June 2019 Despite growing pressure from her caucus—now including members of party leadership, most notably Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler—Pelosi once again parried demands that House Democrats move forward with impeachment proceedings. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "If Trump Belongs in Jail, Democrats Should Impeach Him," 6 June 2019 Norton also produced Tribulations, and Mike Guy parried with Fibulations, both Nim-like games based on triangle numbers and Fibonacci numbers. Quanta Magazine, "A Life in Games," 28 Aug. 2015 Or, more often, found their effort parried by the legs or the body of a defender in their path. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Belgium beat England but both teams tried to lose," 28 June 2018 The Portugal forward saw his swerving shot parried by Andrea Consigli in the 23rd minute but Sami Khedira was on hand to fire in the rebound. Daniella Matar, The Seattle Times, "Juventus beats Sassuolo 3-0 to go 11 points clear in Serie A," 10 Feb. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about parry

Listen to Our Podcast about parry

Statistics for parry

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for parry

The first known use of parry was in 1671

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up parry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!