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

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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

But each is short enough to parse through, chuckle, and continue reading the next gag, even on the hottest summer day. Joseph Peschel | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive.com, "Chuck Klosterman’s new short story collection ranges from topical tidbits to questionable gimmicks," 28 July 2019 The linear fracture is a bit more difficult to parse. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "This 33,000-Year-Old Man May Have Been Killed by a Left-Handed Murderer," 5 July 2019 Of all the creative freelance world’s pros (flexibility! artistic freedom!) and its cons (no healthcare!), one of the most difficult to parse out is the complicated relationship between time, money, and self-esteem. Emma Goldberg, Glamour, "A Penny for Her Thoughts? Women in the Gig Economy Struggle to Get Paid," 16 Apr. 2019 Much of the data is highly unstructured and difficult to parse — for example, taxonomic names and behavioral observations, which are sometimes subject to debate and revision. Quanta Magazine, "Imagining Data Without Division," 30 Sep. 2013 Defensive player of the year is a little harder to parse out. Kellen Becoats, SI.com, "Elena Delle Donne for MVP and Other Award Predictions at Midway Point of the Season," 31 July 2019 Often the output will be in tons of CO2 which, while concrete, is hard to parse. Cassie Werber, Quartz, "How much does your flight actually hurt the planet?," 30 July 2019 Voices have changed, bodies have grown, and the kids’ ages (relative to each other and the older cast members) remain hard to parse. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: ‘Stranger Things’ reinvents itself for a stellar Season 3," 30 June 2019 Ford spent entire weeks parsing them, using translation services to get to the ones that came from non-English-speaking countries. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "The Inside Story of Twitter's New Redesign," 15 July 2019

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.

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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 and Noun

Latin pars orationis part of speech

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Last Updated

18 Aug 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on parse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with parse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for parse

Nglish: Translation of parse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of parse for Arabic Speakers

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