See also: Parse



Possibly from Middle English pars (parts, shares; parts of speech, grammar), from Old French pars (plural of part (part, portion, share)),[1] from Latin pars (part, piece, share),[2] possibly from Proto-Indo-European *per- (to carry forth; to sell).



parse (third-person singular simple present parses, present participle parsing, simple past and past participle parsed)

  1. (linguistics, transitive, intransitive) To resolve (a sentence, etc.) into its elements, pointing out the several parts of speech, and their relation to each other by agreement or government; to analyze and describe grammatically. [from mid 16th c.]
    Synonym: construe
  2. (transitive) To examine closely; to scrutinize.
  3. (computing, transitive, intransitive) To split (a file or other input) into pieces of data that can be easily manipulated or stored.
  4. (computing, transitive) To resolve (a string of code or text) into its elements to determine if it conforms to a particular grammar.
  5. (computing, linguistics, intransitive) Of a string of code or text, sentence, etc.: to conform to rules of grammar, to be syntactically valid.
    This sentence doesn't parse.

Usage notesEdit

Generally speaking, parse is an ergative verb i.e. ambitransitive with the subject of the intransitive form corresponding to the direct object of the transitive form. If a person or program can parse X into Y, then we say that X parses as Y. Note that the last sense is not quite the same as the penultimate; a string only parses if it can be parsed successfully.

Derived termsEdit



parse (plural parses)

  1. (computing, linguistics) An act of parsing; a parsing.
    The parse will fail if the program contains an unrecognised keyword.
  2. (computing, linguistics) The result of such an act; a parsing.
    This parse is incorrect and indicates a fault in the parser.



  1. ^ pars, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 15 August 2018.
  2. ^ parse”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

Further readingEdit




parse f

  1. feminine plural of parso
  2. third-person singular past historic of parere






  1. vocative masculine singular of parsus