- the legally established value of the monetary unit of one country in terms of that of another using the same metal as a standard of value.
- the state of the shares of any business, undertaking, loan, etc., when they may be purchased at the original price (issue par) or at their face value (nominal par).
verb (used with object), parred, par·ring.
Origin of par1
- See par value
- the condition of equality between the current market value of a share, bond, etc, and its face value (the nominal par). This equality is indicated by at par, while above (or below) par indicates that the market value is above (or below) face value
Word Origin for par
"by, for," mid-13c., from Old French par, per, from Latin per (see per).
1620s, "equality," also "value of one currency in terms of another," from Latin par "equal, equal-sized, well-matched," also as a noun, "that which is equal, equality," of unknown origin. Watkins suggests perhaps from PIE root *pere- "to grant, allot," with suggestion of reciprocality (see part (n.)).
Another guess connects it with PIE root *per- "to traffic in, sell" (on notion of "give equal value for"); see pornography. Meaning "average or usual amount" is first attested 1767. Golf usage is first attested 1898. Figurative use of par for the course is from 1928.
n. pl. pa•ri•a (pä′rē-ə)
In addition to the idiom beginning with par
- par for the course
- below par
- on a par with
- up to par