- an equality in value or standing; a level of equality: The gains and the losses are on a par.
- an average, usual, or normal amount, degree, quality, condition, standard, or the like: above par; to feel below par.
- Golf. the number of strokes set as a standard for a specific hole or a complete course.
- 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).
- at par, Finance. (of a share) purchasable at issue par or nominal par.
- average or normal.
- Finance. at or pertaining to par: the par value of a bond.
- Golf. to equal par on (a hole or course).
- par for the course, exactly what one might expect; typical: They were late again, but that's par for the course.
Origin of par1
- an accepted level or standard, such as an average (esp in the phrase up to par)
- a state of equality (esp in the phrase on a par with)
- 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
- 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
- golf an estimated standard score for a hole or course that a good player should makepar for the course was 72
- below par or under par not feeling or performing as well as normal
- par for the course an expected or normal occurrence or situation
- average or normal
- (usually prenominal) commerce of or relating to parpar 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.
- A pair; specifically, a pair of cranial nerves.
In addition to the idiom beginning with par
- par for the course
- below par
- on a par with
- up to par