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paragon

[par-uh-gon, -guh n] /ˈpær əˌgɒn, -gən/
noun
1.
a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence:
a paragon of virtue.
2.
someone of exceptional merit:
Just who is this paragon whose name is on everyone's lips?
Synonyms: nonesuch, nonpareil.
3.
Printing. a 20-point type.
4.
an unusually large, round pearl.
verb (used with object)
5.
Rare. to compare; parallel.
6.
Archaic. to be a match for; rival.
7.
Obsolete. to surpass.
8.
Obsolete. to regard as a paragon.
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; < Middle French < Old Italian paragone comparison, perhaps < Greek parágōn, present participle of parágein ‘to bring side by side’
Related forms
paragonless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for paragons
  • Several of these apps are not, ahem, paragons of software stability.
  • Another contrast is how these paragons would be debating the subject were they facing each other today.
  • If you tell stories about the elite, they have to be paragons.
  • These paragons of logic voted to ban terror trials for foreign-born terror suspects in federal court.
  • And this is why they seem to regard themselves as paragons of rationality, while others often regard them as slightly nuts.
  • Pressuring them to be paragons of positive thinking is futile.
  • When it comes to bait and switch, used car salesmen are paragons of virtue compared to this global warming crowd.
British Dictionary definitions for paragons

paragon

/ˈpærəɡən/
noun
1.
a model of excellence; pattern a paragon of virtue
2.
a size of printer's type, approximately equal to 20 point
verb (transitive)
3.
(archaic)
  1. to equal or surpass
  2. to compare
  3. to regard as a paragon
Word Origin
C16: via French from Old Italian paragone comparison, from Medieval Greek parakonē whetstone, from Greek parakonan to sharpen against, from para-1 + akonan to sharpen, from akonē whetstone
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 paragons
paragon
1548, from M.Fr. paragon "a model, pattern of excellence" (15c.), from It. paragone, originally "touchstone to test gold" (c.1324), from paragonare "to test on a touchstone, compare," from Gk. parakonan "to sharpen, whet," from para- "on the side" + akone "whetstone," from PIE base *ak- "be pointed."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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11
14
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