paraplegia (n.) Look up paraplegia at
"paralysis of the lower half of the body," 1650s, Latinized form of (Ionic) Greek paraplegie "paralysis of one side of the body," from paraplessein "strike at the side," paraplessesthai "be stricken on one side," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + plessein "to strike" (from PIE root *plak- (2) "to strike").
paraplegic (adj.) Look up paraplegic at
c. 1822; see paraplegia + -ic. The noun meaning "paraplegic person" is first recorded 1890. An earlier adjectival form was paraplectic (1660s).
parapraxis (n.) Look up parapraxis at
"faulty action, blunder," 1904, from Modern Latin, from para- "contrary" (see para- (1)) + Greek praxis "a doing, transaction, business" (see praxis). In psychology, a minor error held to reveal a subconscious motive.
paraprofessional (adj.) Look up paraprofessional at
1962, from para- (1) + professional (adj.). As a noun from 1968.
parapsychology (n.) Look up parapsychology at
1924, from para- (1) "beside" + psychology.
paraquat (n.) Look up paraquat at
quick-acting herbicide, 1961, from para- (1) + first element in quaternary. So called in reference to its chemical configuration.
parasail (n.) Look up parasail at
1963, from first element of parachute + sail. As a verb from 1970. Related: Parasailing.
parasite (n.) Look up parasite at
1530s, "a hanger-on, a toady, person who lives on others," from Middle French parasite (16c.) or directly from Latin parasitus "toady, sponger," and directly from Greek parasitos "one who lives at another's expense, person who eats at the table of another," from noun use of an adjective meaning "feeding beside," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + sitos "food," of unknown origin. Scientific meaning "animal or plant that lives on others" is first recorded 1640s (implied in parasitical).
parasitic (adj.) Look up parasitic at
1620s, from Latin parasiticus, from Greek parasitikos "of or pertaining to a parasite; the trade of a parasite," from parasitos (see parasite). Biological sense is from 1731. Related: Parasitical, 1570s in reference to toadies; from 1640s in the biological sense.
parasitism (n.) Look up parasitism at
1610s, from parasite + -ism. Biological sense is from 1853.
parasol (n.) Look up parasol at
1610s, from Middle French parasol (1570s), from Italian parasole, literally "protection from the sun," from para- "defense against" (see para- (2)) + sole "sun," from Latin solem (nominative sol; from PIE root *sawel- "the sun").
parastate (n.) Look up parastate at
also para-state, 1959, from para- (1) "beside" + state (n.). Related: Parastatal.
parasympathetic (adj.) Look up parasympathetic at
1905, from para- (1) "beside" + sympathetic.
parataxis (n.) Look up parataxis at
1838, from Greek parataxis "a placing side by side, a placing in line of battle," from stem of paratassein "to place side by side," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + tassein "to arrange" (see tactics). Related: Paratactic.
paratransit (n.) Look up paratransit at
also para-transit, 1973, from para- (1) + transit.
paratrooper (n.) Look up paratrooper at
1941, from parachute + trooper. The collective noun paratroops is first recorded 1940. Earliest reference is to the German invaders who were expected to drop on England.
paratroops (n.) Look up paratroops at
1940, from parachute + plural of troop (n.).
parboil (v.) Look up parboil at
late 14c., "to boil partially;" mid-15c., "to boil thoroughly," from Old French parboillir "to boil thoroughly," from Medieval Latin perbullire "to boil thoroughly," from Latin per "through, thoroughly" + bullire "to boil" (see boil (v.)). Main modern meaning "boil partially" is by mistaken association of the prefix with part. Related: Parboiled; parboiling.
parcel (v.) Look up parcel at
"to divide into small portions," early 15c. (with out), from parcel (n.). Related: Parceled; parcelled; parceling; parcelling.
parcel (n.) Look up parcel at
late 14c., "a portion of something, a part" (sense preserved in phrase parcel of land, c. 1400), from Old French parcele "small piece, particle, parcel," from Vulgar Latin *particella, extended form (via diminutive suffix, but not necessarily implying smallness) of Latin particula "small part, little bit," itself a diminutive of pars (genitive partis) "a part, piece, fraction" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot").

Meaning "package" is first recorded 1640s, earlier "a quantity of goods in a package" (mid-15c.), from late 14c. sense of "an amount or quantity of anything." The expression part and parcel (early 15c.) also preserves the older sense; both words mean the same, the multiplicity is for emphasis.
parch (v.) Look up parch at
late 14c., "to roast or dry" (peas, beans, corn, etc.), of uncertain origin. Klein and OED reject derivations from Old North French perchier (Old French percer) "to pierce" and Latin persiccare "to dry thoroughly." Barnhart suggests possibly from Middle English perchen, variant of perishen "to perish" (see perish). Klein "tentatively" suggests a back-formation from parchment. Surname Parchecorn is attested from mid-14c. Meaning "to dry with excessive heat" is mid-15c. Related: Parched; parching.
parcheesi (n.) Look up parcheesi at
1800, from Hindi pachisi, from pachis "twenty-five" (highest throw of the dice), from Sanskrit panca "five" (from PIE root *penkwe- "five") + vinsati-s "twenty." Modern spelling outside India, with unetymological -r-, was enshrined 1892 by trademark name.
parchment (n.) Look up parchment at
c. 1300, parchemin (c. 1200 as a surname), from Old French parchemin (11c., Old North French parcamin), from Late Latin pergamena "parchment," noun use of adjective (as in pergamena charta, Pliny), from Late Greek pergamenon "of Pergamon," from Pergamon "Pergamum" (modern Bergama), city in Mysia in Asia Minor where parchment supposedly first was adopted as a substitute for papyrus, 2c. B.C.E. Possibly influenced in Vulgar Latin by Latin parthica (pellis) "Parthian (leather)." Altered in Middle English by confusion with nouns in -ment and by influence of Medieval Latin collateral form pergamentum.
pard (n.1) Look up pard at
archaic form of leopard, c. 1300, from Latin pardus "a male panther," from Greek pardos "male panther," from the same source (probably Iranian) as Sanskrit prdaku-s "leopard, tiger, snake," and Persian palang "panther."
pard (n.2) Look up pard at
1850, dialectal shortening of pardener (1795), representing a common pronunciation of partner (n.).
pardon (v.) Look up pardon at
mid-15c., "to forgive for offense or sin," from Old French pardoner (see pardon (n.)).
'I grant you pardon,' said Louis XV to Charolais, who, to divert himself, had just killed a man; 'but I also pardon whoever will kill you.' [Marquis de Sade, "Philosophy in the Bedroom"]
Related: Pardoned; pardoning. Pardon my French as exclamation of apology for obscene language is from 1895.
pardon (n.) Look up pardon at
late 13c., "papal indulgence," from Old French pardon, from pardoner "to grant; forgive" (11c., Modern French pardonner), "to grant, forgive," from Vulgar Latin *perdonare "to give wholeheartedly, to remit," from Latin per "through, thoroughly" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + donare "give as a gift," from donum "gift," from PIE *donum "gift," from root *do- "to give."

Meaning "passing over an offense without punishment" is from c. 1300, also in the strictly ecclesiastical sense; sense of "pardon for a civil or criminal offense; release from penalty or obligation" is from late 14c. earlier in Anglo-French. Weaker sense of "excuse for a minor fault" is attested from 1540s.
pardonable (adj.) Look up pardonable at
mid-15c., from Old French pardonable (12c.), from pardoner (see pardon (v.)). Related: Pardonably.
pardoner (n.) Look up pardoner at
"man licensed to sell papal pardons or indulgences," mid-14c., agent noun from pardon (v.).
pare (v.) Look up pare at
"to trim by cutting close," c. 1300, from Old French parer "arrange, prepare; trim, adorn," and directly from Latin parare "make ready, prepare, furnish, provide, arrange, order; contrive, design, intend, resolve; procure, acquire, obtain, get; get with money, buy, purchase" (related to parere "produce, bring forth, give birth to"), from PIE *par-a-, suffixed form of root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure." Generalized meaning "to reduce something little by little" is from 1520s. Related: Pared; paring.
paregoric (n.) Look up paregoric at
"medicine that soothes pain," 1704, from adjective (1680s) "soothing," from Late Latin paregoricus, from Greek paregorikos "soothing, encouraging, consoling," from paregorein "speak soothingly to," from paregoros "consoling," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + root of agoreuein "speak in public," from agora "public assembly," from PIE root *ger- "to gather" (see gregarious).
parenchyma (n.) Look up parenchyma at
1650s, Modern Latin, from Greek parenkhyma "something poured in beside," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + enkhyma "infusion," from en- "in" + khein "to pour" (from PIE root *gheu- "to pour"). In ancient physiology, the stuff that was supposed to make up the liver, lungs, etc., which was believed to be formed from blood strained through the capillaries and congealed.
parent (v.) Look up parent at
1660s, from parent (n.). Related: Parented; parenting.
parent (n.) Look up parent at
early 15c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French parent "father, parent, relative, kin" (11c.), from Latin parentem (nominative parens) "father or mother, ancestor," noun use of present participle of parere "bring forth, give birth to, produce," from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, bring forth." Began to replace native elder after c. 1500.
parentage (n.) Look up parentage at
late 15c., "parental conduct," from Middle French parentage (12c.), from parent (see parent). Meaning "lineage" is from 1560s; figurative use from 1580s.
parental (adj.) Look up parental at
1620s, from Latin parentalis "of parents," from parens "father or mother" (see parent (n.)). Related: Parentally.
parenteral (adj.) Look up parenteral at
1905, from para- (1) + Greek enteron "intestine" (see enteric).
parenthesis (n.) Look up parenthesis at
1540s, "words, clauses, etc. inserted into a sentence," from Middle French parenthèse (15c.), from Late Latin parenthesis "addition of a letter to a syllable in a word," from Greek parenthesis, literally "a putting in beside," from parentithenai "put in beside," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + en- "in" + tithenai "to put, to place," from reduplicated form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put." Sense extension by 1715 from the inserted words to the curved brackets that indicate the words inserted.
A wooden parenthesis; the pillory. An iron parenthesis; a prison. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]
parenthesize (v.) Look up parenthesize at
1825, from parenthesis + -ize. Related: Parenthesized; parenthesizing.
parenthetical (adj.) Look up parenthetical at
1620s, from Medieval Latin parentheticus from Greek parenthetos "put in beside," verbal adjective from parentithenai; see parenthesis) + -al (1). Related: Parenthetically.
parenthood (n.) Look up parenthood at
1856, from parent (n.) + -hood.
parenting (n.) Look up parenting at
1959, verbal noun from parent (v.). An earlier term was parentcraft (1930); also see parentage.
parer (n.) Look up parer at
1570s, agent noun from pare (v.).
paresis (n.) Look up paresis at
"partial paralysis," 1690s, Modern Latin, from Greek paresis "letting go, slackening of strength, paralysis," from stem of parienai "to let go," from para- (see para- (1)) + hienai "to send, throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel").
Pareto Look up Pareto at
1920, in reference to the work of Italian economist Vilfredo Federico Pareto (1848-1923). Related: Paretan.
parfait (n.) Look up parfait at
kind of frozen dessert, 1894, French, literally "perfect" (see perfect (adj.)).
parhelion (n.) Look up parhelion at
1640s, from Greek parelion "a mock sun," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + helios "sun" (from PIE root *sawel- "the sun").
pari passu Look up pari passu at
Latin, literally "with equal step," from ablative of par "equal" (see par) + passus "pace" (see pace (n.)).
pari-mutuel Look up pari-mutuel at
1881, from French pari-mutuel "mutual wager," from pari "wager" (from parier "to bet," from Latin pariare "to settle a debt," literally "to make equal," from par, genitive paris, "equal;" see par (n.)) + mutuel "mutual," from Latin mutuus (see mutual).
pariah (n.) Look up pariah at
1610s, from Portuguese paria or directly from Tamil paraiyar, plural of paraiyan "drummer" (at festivals, the hereditary duty of members of the largest of the lower castes of southern India), from parai "large festival drum." "Especially numerous at Madras, where its members supplied most of the domestics in European service" [OED]. Applied by Hindus and Europeans to any members of low Hindu castes and even to outcastes. Extended meaning "social outcast" is first attested 1819.