Word of the Day : March 31, 2016

parry

play
verb PAIR-ee

Definition

1 : to ward off a weapon or blow

2 : to evade especially by an adroit answer

Did You Know?

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

The fencer skillfully parried her opponent's thrusts.

"The AMP [Accelerated Mobile Pages] technology … indirectly parries one of the main threats facing digital ad companies—the growing use of ad-blocking software in response to slow, buggy, and hard-to-use Web pages—by stopping ads from slowing down access to articles." — Jack Clark and Gerry Smith, The Boston Globe, 25 Feb. 2016



Word Family Quiz

Unscramble the letters to create a verb derived from Latin parare that means "to abuse or censure severely": PEETATVUIR.

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


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!