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Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 18, 2021 is:

parry • PAIR-ee  • verb

1 : to ward off (something, such as a weapon or blow)

2 : to evade (something, such as a question) by an adroit answer


“Sevilla forward Youssef En-Nesyri had a clearer opportunity midway through the first half but his header was blocked by a low save from Spain keeper Unai Simon, who thwarted the Moroccan again before half-time, parrying his shot and then scurrying back to prevent the ball from trickling over the line.” — ESPN, 3 May 2021

“When someone referred to Whan as ‘Boss,’ he parried, ‘Not yet.’ But he was just being literal. Whan’s first day as CEO was still a few weeks away, but the announcement on Feb. 17 that he would take the job had already sent a bolt of lightning through an organization that dates to 1894….” — Alan Shipnuck, Golf Digest, 9 June 2021

Did you know?

Parry (which is used in fencing, as well as in other applications) was borrowed from French parer, meaning “to ward off” or “to avert,” and may specifically have come directly from the plural imperative form of that word, parez. The French likely borrowed the word from Italian parare, meaning “to prepare, adorn, avert, shield, keep out.” That word’s source is Latin parāre, meaning “to supply, provide, make ready,” an ancestor to many familiar English words, among them prepare, repair, emperor, separate, and apparatus.

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