parse

verb
\ ˈpärs How to pronounce parse (audio) , chiefly British ˈpärz\
parsed; parsing

Definition of parse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to divide (a sentence) into grammatical parts and identify the parts and their relations to each other
b : to describe (a word) grammatically by stating the part of speech and explaining the inflection (see inflection sense 3a) and syntactical relationships
2 : to examine in a minute way : analyze critically having trouble parsing … explanations for dwindling market shares— R. S. Anson

intransitive verb

1 : to give a grammatical description of a word or a group of words
2 : to admit of being parsed

parse

noun

Definition of parse (Entry 2 of 2)

: a product or an instance of parsing

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Verb

If "parse" brings up images of elementary school and learning the parts of speech, you've done your homework regarding this word. "Parse" comes from the first element of the Latin term for "part of speech" - "pars orationis." It's an old word that has been used in the schoolroom since the 16th century, but it did not graduate to its extended, non-grammar-related sense until the late 18th century. Remember this extended sense, and you're really at the head of the class.

Examples of parse in a Sentence

Verb

Students were asked to parse the sentence. Economists parsed the census data.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Let's get rid of parsing language and say this is a disruption of an election. Fox News, "Ken Starr: Impeachment is hell," 11 Sep. 2018 Investors parse jobs reports for clues on the health of the U.S. economy and for their significance to Fed policy, which has given many cause for concern in recent months. David Hodari, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Surge on Powell Remarks, Jobs Report," 4 Jan. 2019 Virtually nobody foresaw this outcome: not health law scholars immersed in the Affordable Care Act, not constitutional professors steeped in Commerce Clause precedents, and not Court watchers who had parsed the oral arguments. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Is the new Obamacare lawsuit headed to the Supreme Court?," 17 Dec. 2018 Each algorithm parses the information generated by specific systems, like the landing gear, wheels, temperature sensors, and anything that is deemed mission-critical. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Can Big Data Save Old Warplanes?," 23 Jan. 2019 But Republicans generally support it by a significant margin: There are two ways to parse this data. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The fight over family separations proved how broken Trump’s America really is," 22 June 2018 Now, the BTS ARMY has more new information to parse through. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "BTS Fans Think a Manga Called "The Promised Neverland" Contains Clues to "Love Yourself: Answer"," 15 Aug. 2018 Every Group of Something summit since 1975 has ended with some sort of final statement or recap, a document that’s always carefully parsed for geopolitical clues. Theophilos Argitis, Bloomberg.com, "A Guide to the G-7 Communique, How It's Done and Why It Matters," 8 June 2018 There is little more to parse from this latest installment of the ongoing fashion designer reshuffle besides an examination of Trotter’s official portrait for this announcement. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Lacoste Appoints Louise Trotter as Creative Director," 4 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But those take the form of long, difficult-to-parse tax documents, and crafty philanthropists can get around these requirements by starting up offshore foundations. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "The Trump Foundation shows just how preposterously light our oversight of charity is," 20 Dec. 2018 An inversion of that history, in which Americans practice aikido or grow fluent in Japanese social customs in order to get by, is fascinating to watch the show parse. Karen Han, Vox, "The Man in the High Castle season 3 has too many characters, too little time," 6 Oct. 2018 That’s it—no qualifying miles or other nonsense to parse. Ryan Craggs, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Frequent Flier and Airline Rewards Programs in the U.S.," 27 July 2018 But a closer parse suggests that there may be more focus on Kim's halting the existing nuclear program and getting rid of his Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) program — which would be the delivery system for striking the United States. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Is Mike Pompeo backing off Trump’s demand that North Korea get rid of its nukes?," 14 May 2018 That is too many people for today’s facial recognition technology to parse, said the executive, who asked not to be identified because the information wasn’t public. Paul Mozur, New York Times, "Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras," 8 July 2018 So its mélange of hard-to-parse messages is harder to overlook than a couple of imprecise box puzzles. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Iconoclasts review: Explore, upgrade, skip the dialogue," 24 Jan. 2018 There was no letter for intelligence analysts to parse. Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, "North Korea’s Kim and Trump meet: Andrea Mitchell weighs risks, rewards," 9 Mar. 2018 Four separate articles published in the journal Nature parse data from NASA’s Juno probe, giving scientists a peek into the planet’s mysterious interior, reports Jonathan Amos at the BBC. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "New Juno Data Gives Unprecedented Glimpse Beneath Jupiter’s Stormy Shell," 9 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parse.' 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 parse

Verb

circa 1568, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1963, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for parse

Verb and Noun

Latin pars orationis part of speech

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about parse

Listen to Our Podcast about parse

Statistics for parse

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for parse

The first known use of parse was circa 1568

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for parse

parse

verb

English Language Learners Definition of parse

grammar : to divide (a sentence) into grammatical parts and identify the parts and their relations to each other
: to study (something) by looking at its parts closely

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on parse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with parse

Nglish: Translation of parse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of parse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on parse

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the way words of a language are spelled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!