[ par-ee ]
See synonyms for parry on
verb (used with object),par·ried, par·ry·ing.
  1. to ward off (a thrust, stroke, weapon, etc.), as in fencing; avert.

  2. to turn aside; evade or dodge: to parry an embarrassing question.

verb (used without object),par·ried, par·ry·ing.
  1. to parry a thrust, blow, etc.

noun,plural par·ries.
  1. an act or instance of parrying, as in fencing.

  2. a defensive movement in fencing.

Origin of parry

1665–75; <French parez, imperative of parer to ward off, set off <Latin parāre to set. See parade

Other words for parry

Other words from parry

  • par·ri·a·ble, adjective
  • par·ri·er, noun
  • un·par·ried, adjective
  • un·par·ry·ing, adjective

Other definitions for Parry (2 of 2)

[ par-ee ]

  1. Milman, 1902–35, U.S. classical scholar and philologist.

  2. William Edward, 1790–1855, English Arctic explorer. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use parry in a sentence

  • Bachmann parried smoothly, once again equating submission with respect.

    Is Michele Bachmann Submissive? | Leslie Bennetts | August 12, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The men, whose poniards his sword parried, had recourse to fire-arms, and two pistols were fired at him.

  • Men began to cry out that De Valmont no longer gave back the Norman's blows; only parried.

    God Wills It! | William Stearns Davis
  • Decatur parried the blow, and made a fierce stroke at the weapon, hoping to cut off its point.

  • He was parried with immovable good humour; and the others came to his aid; some with arguments, some with questions.

    Alone | Marion Harland
  • He parried a swift blow, giving one in return that caught Swan on the elbow and knocked the plank out of his hand.

British Dictionary definitions for parry (1 of 2)


/ (ˈpærɪ) /

verb-ries, -rying or -ried
  1. to ward off (an attack) by blocking or deflecting, as in fencing

  2. (tr) to evade (questions), esp adroitly

nounplural -ries
  1. an act of parrying, esp (in fencing) using a stroke or circular motion of the blade

  2. a skilful evasion, as of a question

Origin of parry

C17: from French parer to ward off, from Latin parāre to prepare

British Dictionary definitions for Parry (2 of 2)


/ (ˈpærɪ) /

  1. Sir (Charles) Hubert (Hastings). 1848–1918, English composer, noted esp for his choral works

  2. Sir William Edward. 1790–1855, English arctic explorer, who searched for the Northwest Passage (1819–25) and attempted to reach the North Pole (1827)

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