[ pahr ]
See synonyms for par on
  1. Finance.

    • 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 ).

  2. an equality in value or standing; a level of equality: The gains and the losses are on a par.

  1. an average, usual, or normal amount, degree, quality, condition, standard, or the like:above par;to feel below par.

  2. Golf. the number of strokes set as a standard for a specific hole or a complete course.

  1. average or normal.

  2. Finance. at or pertaining to par: the par value of a bond.

verb (used with object),parred, par·ring.
  1. Golf. to equal par on (a hole or course).

Idioms about par

  1. at par, Finance. (of a share) purchasable at issue par or nominal par.

  2. par for the course, exactly what one might expect; predictable; typical: They were late again, but that's par for the course.

Origin of par

First recorded in 1600–10; from Latin pār “matching, equal”

Other definitions for par (2 of 4)

[ pahr ]

  1. of or relating to participating insurance.

Origin of par

Shortening of participating

Other definitions for par- (3 of 4)


  1. variant of para-1 before a vowel: parenchyma.

Other definitions for par. (4 of 4)


  1. paragraph.

  2. parallel.

  1. parenthesis.

  2. parish. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

British Dictionary definitions for par (1 of 4)


/ (pɑː) /

  1. an accepted level or standard, such as an average (esp in the phrase up to par)

  2. a state of equality (esp in the phrase on a par with)

  1. finance the established value of the unit of one national currency in terms of the unit of another where both are based on the same metal standard

  2. commerce

    • 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

  3. golf an estimated standard score for a hole or course that a good player should make: par for the course was 72

  4. below par or under par not feeling or performing as well as normal

  5. par for the course an expected or normal occurrence or situation

  1. average or normal

  2. (usually prenominal) commerce of or relating to par: par value

Origin of par

C17: from Latin pār equal, on a level; see peer 1

British Dictionary definitions for par- (2 of 4)


  1. a variant of para- 1

British Dictionary definitions for par. (3 of 4)


abbreviation for
  1. paragraph

  2. parenthesis

  1. parish

British Dictionary definitions for Par. (4 of 4)


abbreviation for
  1. Paraguay

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with par


In addition to the idiom beginning with par

  • par for the course

also see:

  • below par
  • on a par with
  • up to par

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.