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See more synonyms for par on Thesaurus.com
  1. an equality in value or standing; a level of equality: The gains and the losses are on a par.
  2. an average, usual, or normal amount, degree, quality, condition, standard, or the like: above par; to feel below par.
  3. Golf. the number of strokes set as a standard for a specific hole or a complete course.
  4. Finance.
    1. 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.
    2. 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).
  5. at par, Finance. (of a share) purchasable at issue par or nominal par.
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  1. average or normal.
  2. Finance. at or pertaining to par: the par value of a bond.
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verb (used with object), parred, par·ring.
  1. Golf. to equal par on (a hole or course).
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  1. par for the course, exactly what one might expect; typical: They were late again, but that's par for the course.
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Origin of par

First recorded in 1615–25, par is from the Latin word pār equal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for par for the course


British Dictionary definitions for par for the course


  1. an accepted level or standard, such as an average (esp in the phrase up to par)
  2. a state of equality (esp in the phrase on a par with)
  3. 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
  4. commerce
    1. See par value
    2. 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
  5. golf an estimated standard score for a hole or course that a good player should makepar for the course was 72
  6. below par or under par not feeling or performing as well as normal
  7. par for the course an expected or normal occurrence or situation
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  1. average or normal
  2. (usually prenominal) commerce of or relating to parpar value
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Word Origin for par

C17: from Latin pār equal, on a level; see peer 1
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

Word Origin and History for par for the course



"by, for," mid-13c., from Old French par, per, from Latin per (see per).

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

par for the course in Medicine


n. pl. pa•ri•a (rē-ə)
  1. A pair; specifically, a pair of cranial nerves.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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.

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In addition to the idiom beginning with par

  • par for the course

also see:

  • below par
  • on a par with
  • up to par
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.