Denotation vs. Connotation


[pair] /pɛər/
verb (used with object), pared, paring.
to cut off the outer coating, layer, or part of.
to remove (an outer coating, layer, or part) by cutting (often followed by off or away).
to reduce or remove by or as by cutting; diminish or decrease gradually (often followed by down):
to pare down one's expenses.
Origin of pare
1275-1325; Middle English paren < Middle French parer to make ready, trim < Latin parāre to prepare
Related forms
pareable, adjective
unpared, adjective
Can be confused
pair, pare, payer, pear.
1. See peel1 . 3. clip, shave, lessen.
3. increase. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pare down
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The lawyer was the more timid man of the two, and found it necessary to pare down his potency.

    Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia William Gilmore Simms
  • This knife will pare down your pride and humble you to the dust beneath my feet.

    The Day of Wrath Maurus Jkai
  • Ever and anon one must pare down a phrase or word in translating an ancient author.

  • With the knife, pare down each side so as to leave a 1⁄2-in.

    Hand-Craft John D. Sutcliffe
  • "We have not enough men to pare down the skin inside of a week," said the scientist.

    The Rogue Elephant Elliott Whitney
  • Then pare down the end of the back to a lancet-shaped point, as shown in Fig. 2.

    Hand-Craft John D. Sutcliffe
  • They pare down the wretched souls to what is below gaol allowance.

    Rural Rides William Cobbett
  • The chisel is often used to pare down the surface of a piece of work to a given line, as shown in Fig. 27.

    The Boy Craftsman A. Neely Hall
  • Consequently, it was necessary to pare down the mouths of the mugs to make them acceptable to the lips of the toper.

British Dictionary definitions for pare down


verb (transitive)
to peel or cut (the outer layer) from (something)
to cut the edges from (the nails); trim
to decrease bit by bit
Derived Forms
parer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French parer to adorn, from Latin parāre to make ready


/French pare/
Ambroise (ɑ̃brwaz). 1510–90, French surgeon. He reintroduced ligature of arteries following amputation instead of cauterization
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for pare down



"to trim by cutting close," c.1300, from Old French parer "arrange, prepare; trim, adorn," and directly from Latin parare "make ready, furnish, provide, arrange, order," related to parere "produce, bring forth, give birth to," from PIE root *pere- "produce, procure, bring forward, bring forth," and derived words in diverse senses (cf. Lithuanian pariu "to brood," Greek poris "calf, bull," Old High German farro, German Farre "bullock," Old English fearr "bull," Sanskrit prthukah "child, calf, young of an animal," Czech spratek "brat, urchin, premature calf"). Generalized meaning "to reduce something little by little" is from 1520s. Related: Pared; paring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pare down in Medicine

Paré Pa·ré (pä-rā'), Ambroise. 1517?-1590.

French surgeon who made numerous improvements to operating methods, including the ligature of arteries rather than cauterization.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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