Definition of paragraph in English:



  • A distinct section of a piece of writing, usually dealing with a single theme and indicated by a new line, indentation, or numbering.

    ‘the concluding paragraph’
    ‘the information set out in paragraph 3’
    • ‘In the process of drafting their material, they may combine and recombine paragraphs.’
    • ‘The article is all but fourteen paragraphs long but the real stuffing of the reflective piece is the last five.’
    • ‘I'm going to have to learn to summarise the days events and my thoughts into a few paragraphs.’
    • ‘I have been trying to find a detailed description of this but there are only short paragraphs.’
    • ‘Each chapter has a useful set of concluding paragraphs for a quick analysis of theme studies.’
    • ‘In the first paragraph the trial judge accurately set out the first two issues.’
    • ‘Then in the concluding three paragraphs the doctor summarises his opinion.’
    • ‘I mentioned, a few paragraphs ago, the conceptual structure of a plural noun, such as houses.’
    • ‘The style is similar to that of a textbook with several indented paragraphs of quotes.’
    • ‘Entries are usually fairly short, maybe a sentence or a paragraph, but can be much longer.’
    • ‘In a series of numbered paragraphs, Lord Taylor summarised the position.’
    • ‘We agree with the views expressed in that paragraph but we emphasise that today we would not have allowed that appeal.’
    • ‘The transcripts were hand-written with many lines and paragraphs crossed out.’
    • ‘I'm going to try to summarize in a few paragraphs the qualities that make up a good player.’
    • ‘Also, does anyone know how to separate paragraphs with a line or something on a chapter?’
    • ‘It just took fifteen minutes to write that paragraph and I'm still not sure whether it makes any sense.’
    • ‘Would your Honour like me to just refer to the specific paragraphs where the sections have been amended?’
    • ‘He was reading through the file, staring at a single name in one of the paragraphs in the report.’
    • ‘Now go back and re-read the first paragraph or the next sentence will sound a little strange.’
    • ‘The following paragraphs summarise or refer to your main terms and conditions of service as they apply at present.’
    section, subdivision, part, subsection, division, portion, segment, bit, passage, clause
    report, article, item, piece, notice, write-up, note, mention
    View synonyms


[with object]
  • Arrange (a piece of writing) in paragraphs.

    ‘his style deploys a lack of conventional paragraphing’
    • ‘This would have got 9 or 10 if it had been paragraphed from the start.’
    • ‘It would read even faster had he paragraphed the dialogue out, but then again, that would have doubled the length of an already weighty book.’


Late 15th century: from French paragraphe, via medieval Latin from Greek paragraphos ‘short stroke marking a break in sense’, from para- ‘beside’ + graphein ‘write’.