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From Anglo-Norman paragone, peragone, Middle French paragon, from Italian paragone (comparison) or Spanish parangón, from paragonare, from Ancient Greek παρακονάω (parakonáō, I sharpen, whet), from παρά (pará) + ἀκόνη (akónē, whetstone) (from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eḱ- (sharp)).



paragon (plural paragons)

  1. A person of preeminent qualities, who acts as a pattern or model of some given (especially positive) quality. [from 16th c.]
    In the novel, Constanza is a paragon of virtue who would never compromise her reputation.
    • Shakespeare
      Man, [] the paragon of animals!
    • Emerson
      The riches of sweet Mary's son, / Boy-rabbi, Israel's paragon.
    • 2014 October 21, Oliver Brown, “Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years – sport afforded no protection against his tragic fallibilities: Bladerunner's punishment for killing Reeva Steenkamp is but a frippery when set against the burden that her bereft parents, June and Barry, must carry [print version: No room for sentimentality in this tragedy, 13 September 2014, p. S22]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Sport)[1]:
      Yes, there were instances of grandstanding and obsessive behaviour, but many were concealed at the time to help protect an aggressively peddled narrative of [Oscar] Pistorius the paragon, the emblem, the trailblazer.
  2. (obsolete) A companion; a match; an equal. [16th–19th c.]
    • Sir Philip Sidney
      Philoclea, who indeed had no paragon but her sister
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
  3. (obsolete) Comparison; competition. [16th–17th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.ix:
      good by paragone / Of euill, may more notably be rad, / As white seemes fairer, macht with blacke attone [...].
  4. (typography, printing, dated) The size of type between great primer and double pica, standardized as 20-point. [from 18th c.]
  5. A flawless diamond of at least 100 carats.




paragon (third-person singular simple present paragons, present participle paragoning, simple past and past participle paragoned)

  1. To compare; to parallel; to put in rivalry or emulation with.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Philip Sidney to this entry?)
  2. To compare with; to equal; to rival.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
    • Glover
      In arms anon to paragon the morn, / The morn new rising.
  3. To serve as a model for; to surpass.
    • Shakespeare
      He hath achieved a maid / That paragons description and wild fame.
  4. To be equal; to hold comparison.


Further readingEdit



paragon m

  1. A receipt, sales slip.



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paragon m inan

  1. receipt (written acknowledgment that a specified article or sum of money has been received)


Related termsEdit