parse

verb
\ˈpärs, 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

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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

The sticker shock stands out given Jenner's age and the hard-to-parse secret sauce that vaulted her family into its own celebrity stratosphere. Rachel Siegel, chicagotribune.com, "Kylie Jenner is on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire. Ever.," 14 July 2018 At its core, ML is the practice of using algorithms to parse data, learn from it, and then make a determination or prediction based on that data. Andy Patrizio, Ars Technica, "The AI revolution has spawned a new chips arms race," 9 July 2018 But much of the narrative subtext in Incredibles 2 is harder to parse and doesn’t fully cohere. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Incredibles 2 Is an Exhilarating Ride," 13 June 2018 Harder to parse is the movie’s celebration and/or exploitation of Japanese culture. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "Canines (and kids) to the rescue in ‘Isle of Dogs’," 26 Mar. 2018 The film took for granted a broad cultural tolerance, if not an appetite, for enigma, as well as the time and inclination for parsing interpretive mysteries. Junot Díaz, The New Yorker, "“2001: A Space Odyssey”: What It Means, and How It Was Made," 17 Apr. 2018 That would be easy enough to parse, but the studio is simultaneously developing an entirely different slate of films. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Now Jared Leto’s Joker is apparently getting his own movie, too," 5 June 2018 The intention behind specific words can be tricky to parse: A Portuguese term might be considered a racial slur in Brazil, but not in Portugal. Michal Lev-ram, Fortune, "Facebook's Fix-It Team," 22 May 2018 The meme’s point is simple and easy to parse: An oblivious dude comically mistakes one thing for another thing. Aja Romano, Vox, "“Is this a meme?”: the confused anime guy and his butterfly, explained," 15 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Easy-to-parse tasks, like playing video games and naming birds, are of limited value. The Economist, "AI in societyFor artificial intelligence to thrive, it must explain itself," 15 Feb. 2018 If, in your youth, you were primarily exposed to the tiny wonder created by Sir Alec Issigonis during quadrennial visits to the United Kingdom, the Mini could be a confusing thing to parse, brandwise. Davey G. Johnson, Car and Driver, "How Much Art Can You Take? Mini Announces New Logo," 13 Dec. 2017 The Republicans running for governor — Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox and Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach — have become skilled practitioners of the parse. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, "Worst question to ask a California Republican: Where do you differ from Trump?," 2 Nov. 2017

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.

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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

Latin pars orationis part of speech

Noun

see parse entry 1

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Statistics for parse

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for parse

The first known use of parse was circa 1568

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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

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