- to analyze (a sentence) in terms of grammatical constituents, identifying the parts of speech, syntactic relations, etc.
- to describe (a word in a sentence) grammatically, identifying the part of speech, inflectional form, syntactic function, etc.
- to analyze (something, as a speech or behavior) to discover its implications or uncover a deeper meaning: Political columnists were in their glory, parsing the president's speech on the economy in minute detail.
- Computers. to analyze (a string of characters) in order to associate groups of characters with the syntactic units of the underlying grammar.
- to be able to be parsed; lend itself to parsing: Sorry, but your concluding paragraph simply doesn't parse.
Origin of parse
- to assign constituent structure to (a sentence or the words in a sentence)
- (intr) (of a word or linguistic element) to play a specified role in the structure of a sentence
- computing to analyse the source code of a computer program to make sure that it is structurally correct before it is compiled and turned into machine code
Word Origin and History for parse
1550s, "to state the parts of speech in a sentence," verb use of Middle English pars (n.) "part of speech" (c.1300), from Old French pars, plural of part "part," from Latin pars (see part (n.)) in school question, Quae pars orationis? "What part of speech?" Transferred (non-grammatical) use is from 1788. Pars was a common plural of part (n.) in early Middle English. Related: Parsed; parsing.