the act of a person or thing that pares.
a piece or part pared off: apple parings.

Origin of paring

1350–1400; Middle English (gerund); see pare, -ing1



verb (used with object), pared, par·ing.

to cut off the outer coating, layer, or part of.
to remove (an outer coating, layer, or part) by cutting (often followed by off or away).
to reduce or remove by or as by cutting; diminish or decrease gradually (often followed by down): to pare down one's expenses.

Origin of pare

1275–1325; Middle English paren < Middle French parer to make ready, trim < Latin parāre to prepare
Related formspare·a·ble, adjectiveun·pared, adjective
Can be confusedpair pare payer pear

Synonyms for pare

1. See peel1. 3. clip, shave, lessen.

Antonyms for pare Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for paring

Contemporary Examples of paring

Historical Examples of paring

  • I will not surrender a Wampanoag, nor the paring of a Wampanoag's nail.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • He was paring his mourning fringed nails with great indifference.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

  • And then goes on with her snipping and paring with the heartiest unconcern.

    Molly Bawn

    Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

  • They are circumcision; shaving off the hair from the head and the body; the paring of the nails.

  • Paring with the chisel is the method used in cutting stop chamfers.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

British Dictionary definitions for paring



(often plural) something pared or cut off


verb (tr)

to peel or cut (the outer layer) from (something)
to cut the edges from (the nails); trim
to decrease bit by bit
Derived Formsparer, noun

Word Origin for pare

C13: from Old French parer to adorn, from Latin parāre to make ready



Ambroise (ɑ̃brwaz). 1510–90, French surgeon. He reintroduced ligature of arteries following amputation instead of cauterization
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 paring



"to trim by cutting close," c.1300, from Old French parer "arrange, prepare; trim, adorn," and directly from Latin parare "make ready, furnish, provide, arrange, order," related to parere "produce, bring forth, give birth to," from PIE root *pere- "produce, procure, bring forward, bring forth," and derived words in diverse senses (cf. Lithuanian pariu "to brood," Greek poris "calf, bull," Old High German farro, German Farre "bullock," Old English fearr "bull," Sanskrit prthukah "child, calf, young of an animal," Czech spratek "brat, urchin, premature calf"). Generalized meaning "to reduce something little by little" is from 1520s. Related: Pared; paring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

paring in Medicine


[pä-rā]Ambroise 1517?-1590

French surgeon who made numerous improvements to operating methods, including the ligature of arteries rather than cauterization.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.