Word of the Day : January 3, 2012


adjective puh-ROH-kee-ul


1 : of or relating to a church parish

2 : limited in range or scope (as to a narrow area or region) : provincial, narrow

Did You Know?

In the Greek New Testament, the word "paroikia" means "temporary residence." (It's from the Greek word for "stranger" -- "paroikos.") Early Christians used this designation for their colonies because they considered heaven their real home. But temporary or not, these Christian colonies became more organized as time went on. Thus, in Late Latin, "parochia" became the designation for a group of Christians in a given area under the leadership of one pastor -- what we came to call a "parish" in the 14th century. Both "parish" and its related adjective "parochial" were borrowed at that time directly from Middle French terms that had been derived from the Late Latin. We didn't begin to use "parochial" in its "narrow" sense until the mid-19th century.


The book is marred by the parochial viewpoint of its author, who fails to take into account the interplay between local and global economies.

"Once a largely parochial issue mainly of interest to Nebraskans, the pipeline's national profile has risen steadily to the point where it became the linchpin in a much broader, high-stakes deal affecting millions of families from coast to coast." -- From an article by Joseph Morton in the Omaha World-Herald, December 18, 2011

Test Your Memory

What word completes this sentence from a recent Word of the Day piece: "I had expected the spa to be one of those places where they burn aromatherapy candles and play __________ music, but it wasn't like that at all"? The answer is ...


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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