See also: Parry


Alternative formsEdit


From earlier parree, from Middle English *parree, *paree, from Old French paree (preparation, ceremony, parade), from Medieval Latin parāta (preparation, parade), from parāre (to ward off, guard, defend, prepare, get ready). More at pare. The English verb is taken from the noun. Doublet of parade.

Alternative etymology derives the verb parry from French parez, the imperative form of parer (to fend off), ultimately from the Medieval Latin parāre. See above.


  • IPA(key): /ˈpæɹi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æɹi


parry (third-person singular simple present parries, present participle parrying, simple past and past participle parried)

  1. To avoid, deflect, or ward off (an attack, a blow, an argument, etc.).
    • 1944 March and April, Chas. S. Lake, “Some C.M.Es. I Have Known: VIII—Sir H. N. Gresley”, in Railway Magazine, page 74:
      One had to be on one's guard when thus confronted and, in the course of my numerous meetings with him, I had on occasion to exercise all my wits and be prepared at a moment's notice to parry a very awkward question, to which I would much rather have given a considered reply.
    • 2011 September 28, Tom Rostance, “Arsenal 2 - 1 Olympiakos”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Wojciech Szczesny was then called into action twice in a minute to parry fierce drives from Djebbour and Torossidis as Arsenal's back four looked all at sea.



parry (plural parries)

  1. A defensive or deflective action; an act of parrying.
  2. (fencing) A simple defensive action designed to deflect an attack, performed with the forte of the blade.
  3. (combat sports and martial arts) A defensive move intended to change the direction of an incoming strike to make it miss its intended target, rather than block and absorb it; and typically performed with an open hand in a downward or sideways slapping motion.


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