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
Related formspar·ri·a·ble, adjectivepar·ri·er, nounun·par·ried, adjectiveun·par·ry·ing, adjective

Synonyms for parry Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for parrier


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
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

Word Origin for parry

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)
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 parrier



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper