"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[par-ee] /ˈpær i/
verb (used with object), parried, parrying.
to ward off (a thrust, stroke, weapon, etc.), as in fencing; avert.
to turn aside; evade or dodge:
to parry an embarrassing question.
verb (used without object), parried, parrying.
to parry a thrust, blow, etc.
noun, plural parries.
an act or instance of parrying, as in fencing.
a defensive movement in fencing.
Origin of parry
1665-75; < French parez, imperative of parer to ward off, set off < Latin parāre to set. See parade
Related forms
parriable, adjective
parrier, noun
unparried, adjective
unparrying, adjective
2. avert; elude; prevent, obviate, preclude. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for parried
  • He parried the ball into the post, and it bounced across the goal before it was cleared.
  • Before a jury of four of her peers, she parried questions and struggled to control her anger.
  • She parried him with a story of a cringe-inducing romantic encounter gone awry.
  • Mostly, officials have parried onslaughts of advice with good humour.
  • But not all the allegations could be parried that way.
  • The evening wore on, and in similar fashion he parried all our criticism.
  • Jeffries parried his blows, and closed with him, in which position they remained until the gong sounded.
  • Eventually, having exhausted his favorite subject and parried the introduction of any other, he announces that time's up.
British Dictionary definitions for parried


verb -ries, -rying, -ried
to ward off (an attack) by blocking or deflecting, as in fencing
(transitive) to evade (questions), esp adroitly
noun (pl) -ries
an act of parrying, esp (in fencing) using a stroke or circular motion of the blade
a skilful evasion, as of a question
Word Origin
C17: from French parer to ward off, from Latin parāre to prepare


Sir (Charles) Hubert (Hastings). 1848–1918, English composer, noted esp for his choral works
Sir William Edward. 1790–1855, English arctic explorer, who searched for the Northwest Passage (1819–25) and attempted to reach the North Pole (1827)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for parried



1630s, from French parez! (which commonly would have been heard in fencing lessons), imperative of parer "ward off," from Italian parare "to ward or defend a blow" (see para- (2)). Related: Parried; parrying. Non-fencing use is from 1718. The noun is 1705, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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