[ par-uh-gon, -guhn ]
See synonyms for: paragonparagonedparagoning on

  1. a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence: a paragon of virtue.

  2. someone of exceptional merit: Just who is this paragon whose name is on everyone's lips?

  1. Printing. a 20-point type.

  2. an unusually large, round pearl.

verb (used with object)
  1. Rare. to compare; parallel.

  2. Archaic. to be a match for; rival.

  1. Obsolete. to surpass.

  2. Obsolete. to regard as a paragon.

Origin of paragon

First recorded in 1540–50; from Middle French paragon, parangon “model,” from Old Italian paragone “touchstone,” from paragonare “to compare, test on a touchstone,” from Greek parakonân “to sharpen, whet,” equivalent to para- “beside, alongside” + akonân “to sharpen, whet,” a derivative of akónē “whetstone, bone”

Other words for paragon

Other words from paragon

  • par·a·gon·less, adjective

Words Nearby paragon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use paragon in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for paragon


/ (ˈpærəɡən) /

  1. a model of excellence; pattern: a paragon of virtue

  2. a size of printer's type, approximately equal to 20 point

  1. archaic

    • to equal or surpass

    • to compare

    • to regard as a paragon

Origin of paragon

C16: via French from Old Italian paragone comparison, from Medieval Greek parakonē whetstone, from Greek parakonan to sharpen against, from para- 1 + akonan to sharpen, from akonē whetstone

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