- an equality in value or standing; a level of equality: The gains and the losses are on a par.
- an average, usual, or normal amount, degree, quality, condition, standard, or the like: above par; to feel below par.
- Golf. the number of strokes set as a standard for a specific hole or a complete course.
- the legally established value of the monetary unit of one country in terms of that of another using the same metal as a standard of value.
- the state of the shares of any business, undertaking, loan, etc., when they may be purchased at the original price (issue par) or at their face value (nominal par).
- at par, Finance. (of a share) purchasable at issue par or nominal par.
- average or normal.
- Finance. at or pertaining to par: the par value of a bond.
- Golf. to equal par on (a hole or course).
- par for the course, exactly what one might expect; typical: They were late again, but that's par for the course.
Origin of par1
- an accepted level or standard, such as an average (esp in the phrase up to par)
- a state of equality (esp in the phrase on a par with)
- finance the established value of the unit of one national currency in terms of the unit of another where both are based on the same metal standard
- See par value
- the condition of equality between the current market value of a share, bond, etc, and its face value (the nominal par). This equality is indicated by at par, while above (or below) par indicates that the market value is above (or below) face value
- golf an estimated standard score for a hole or course that a good player should makepar for the course was 72
- below par or under par not feeling or performing as well as normal
- par for the course an expected or normal occurrence or situation
- average or normal
- (usually prenominal) commerce of or relating to parpar value
Word Origin and History for par for the course
"by, for," mid-13c., from Old French par, per, from Latin per (see per).
1620s, "equality," also "value of one currency in terms of another," from Latin par "equal, equal-sized, well-matched," also as a noun, "that which is equal, equality," of unknown origin. Watkins suggests perhaps from PIE root *pere- "to grant, allot," with suggestion of reciprocality (see part (n.)).
Another guess connects it with PIE root *per- "to traffic in, sell" (on notion of "give equal value for"); see pornography. Meaning "average or usual amount" is first attested 1767. Golf usage is first attested 1898. Figurative use of par for the course is from 1928.
- A pair; specifically, a pair of cranial nerves.
Idioms and Phrases with par for the course
par for the course
An average or normal amount; just what one might expect. For example, I missed three questions, but that's par for the course. This term comes from golf, where it refers to the number of strokes needed by an expert golfer to finish the entire course. Its figurative use for other kinds of expectation dates from the second half of the 1900s.
In addition to the idiom beginning with par
- par for the course
- below par
- on a par with
- up to par