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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.
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verb (used without object), par·ried, par·ry·ing.
  1. to parry a thrust, blow, etc.
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noun, plural par·ries.
  1. an act or instance of parrying, as in fencing.
  2. a defensive movement in fencing.
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Origin of parry

1665–75; < French parez, imperative of parer to ward off, set off < Latin parāre to set. See parade
Related formspar·ri·a·ble, adjectivepar·ri·er, nounun·par·ried, adjectiveun·par·ry·ing, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

dodge, resist, rebuff, rebuke, fence, repulse, prevent, forestall, avoid, sidestep, anticipate, evade, elude, repel, deflect, bypass, duck, shun, shirk, preclude

Examples from the Web for parried

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Greer countered fiercely with his left, but it was parried easily.

  • He parried the blow on his sabre, and with the flat of it knocked his assailant senseless.

    The Snare

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Expecting it now, Andre-Louis parried it by no more than a deflecting touch.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • Kenneth parried narrowly, his blade pointing straight at his aggressor.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

  • "We get in all right," he parried, putting his spoon into his cantaloupe.

    Blue-grass and Broadway

    Maria Thompson Daviess

British Dictionary definitions for parried


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
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noun plural -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
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Word Origin

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


  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)
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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 parried



1630s, from French parez! (which commonly would have been heard in fencing lessons), imperative of parer "ward off," from Italian parare "to ward or defend a blow" (see para- (2)). Related: Parried; parrying. Non-fencing use is from 1718. The noun is 1705, from the verb.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper