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[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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Raj Shiva parried the blow with his forearm, then his big hands moved swiftly and the knife clattered to the floor.

  • Greer countered fiercely with his left, but it was parried easily.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • He showed both tact and temper, parried the charges against him, and was at last set at liberty.

  • He parried the blow on his sabre, and with the flat of it knocked his assailant senseless.

    The Snare Rafael Sabatini
  • Rathbone parried it, but was wounded deeply in the arm and his hold loosed.

    Men of Our Times Harriet Beecher Stowe
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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