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

    • ‘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’.