Definition of pare in English:



  • 1 Trim (something) by cutting away its outer edges:

    ‘Carlo pared his thumbnails with his knife’
    • ‘Being a consummate realist, Joyce reports what he observes and then nonchalantly pares his fingernails, as Stephen suggests in the speculative remarks at the end of A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man.’
    • ‘As soon as the nails were soft, I pared them right back.’
    1. 1.1 Cut off (the outer skin) of something:
      ‘pare off the rind using a peeler’
      • ‘Barrett has the ability to really pare away the onion skins of the individual to show the true man inside.’
      • ‘So he needed a thin section, for much the same reason that the microscopist pares off a thin sliver of tissue for investigation.’
      • ‘Doctors take up knives and pare off flesh and bone.’
      • ‘My brand new trainers were completely wrecked with the imprints of red hot nails all over them, and it took me hours that afternoon to pare off all the blackened rubber with a knife to keep my parents from finding out.’
    2. 1.2 Reduce (something) in size, extent, or quantity in a number of small successive stages:
      ‘union leaders publicly pared down their demands’
      ‘we pared costs by doing our own cleaning’
      • ‘The beauty of short stories is that they're pared down, more like a poem.’
      • ‘Her written requirements were pared down to writing half an essay, half a biography, and half of everything they initially required.’
      • ‘Gradually, as a summer of physical hardship and anxiety and Stalinist betrayals gives way to the wholesale fight for survival, her language is pared down, as is her focus.’
      • ‘Requests for large quantities of food were pared down to more practical servings.’
      • ‘Some pictures look like they were pared down to a few economical strokes, while others seem to have been insistently added to, and still others explode into calligraphic drawing.’
      • ‘And while the army and police force were pared down, and in the case of the police their uniforms updated, the men did not change.’
      • ‘It would be the defendant's early application that the writ be pared down to a considerable extent to put it in terms that are able to be properly defended and pleaded to.’
      • ‘They are pared down, almost parenthetical, and yet they occasionally elevate mundane impressions, especially of his daily life in a New York loft, giving them a lullaby tenderness.’
      • ‘If pizza is going to be the kitchen's focus, a better crust (at least one white one) is necessary, and the ingredients need to be pared down.’
      • ‘Although you spend the entirety of the game within the confines of one of the three controllable vehicles, the vehicle simulation aspect is pared down somewhat, playing more like a third-person shooter.’
      • ‘Balanchine's works were pared down; the excess was gone.’
      • ‘And so, what might have been a great interview, had it been pared down and edited, became… well, surreal.’
      • ‘The boot's plastic cuff has been pared down so that, while it still cradles the heel and lower leg, it now allows for some forward flex.’
      • ‘Her designs are pared down to a Ming-meets-modernism simplicity.’
      • ‘The play has been pared down significantly from the original production two years ago in Toronto.’
      • ‘The online version is pared down from the print unless you want to pay £1.50, so I'll have to write about my favourite bits another time when I've got the magazine with me.’
      • ‘That extra cost might have meant other aspects of the clinic's work having to be pared down.’
      • ‘When he wrote the play, his intention was that there should be no excess and so each scene is pared down to exactly what he wants to say.’
      • ‘Her prose is pared down to the bone, scarce on imagery and mostly journalistic.’
      reduce, diminish, decrease, cut, cut back, cut down, make cutbacks in, whittle away, whittle down, salami-slice, trim, slim down, prune, lower, lessen, retrench, curtail
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Middle English: from Old French parer adorn, prepare, also peel, trim, from Latin parare prepare.