Definition of parry in US English:

parry

verb

[with object]
  • 1Ward off (a weapon or attack) with a countermove.

    ‘he parried the blow by holding his sword vertically’
    • ‘He stopped parrying my attacks, took two good shots on the chin, parried the kick I aimed at his gut and batted my leg aside.’
    • ‘When the arms and ammunitions ran out, the volunteers used blank weapons to parry the attacks.’
    • ‘Suddenly Constantine advanced and Alexander was driven back, parrying Constantine's attacks with his great sword.’
    • ‘A sword flashed out of nowhere and parried Chris's attack, then pinned him to the ground.’
    • ‘Almost at once it was on top of her, trying frantically to claw at her, but she already had her sword out and parried its attacks.’
    • ‘With a blood curdling cry, the elf lunged for me but I parried her attack and stepped out of the way, just like the many times in practice.’
    • ‘With only one arm operational, Jay was doing all he could to parry Anthony's attacks.’
    • ‘Show your opponent an opening then pull back to parry his counter attack.’
    • ‘His left sword clashed against the goblins mace, and to the elf's surprise, he parried the attack.’
    • ‘He parried the attacks easily, slashing back with his weapon but to no avail.’
    • ‘Soldiers came in from behind, and she spun around, parrying their attacks, and blasting them with her fire.’
    • ‘The duke blocked the attack and parried the following barrage of cuts the prince delivered.’
    • ‘I shouted, holding my sword as if I were ready to parry any attack.’
    • ‘His blade came flying at her chest, and though she managed to parry the attack, the force behind it struck true.’
    • ‘I grabbed a fallen tree branch and used it to parry his attacks.’
    • ‘Yelping in pain he tried to parry her attacks, but the onslaught came so fast he stumbled, hitting the ground hard.’
    • ‘You can parry most incoming attacks with a well-timed sword strike, but in my mind, that's no substitute for being able to go completely defensive.’
    • ‘Maintaining distance and at the last possible moment, the attack is parried.’
    • ‘His attack was parried, and then counterattacked with a diagonal swipe to the head.’
    • ‘If your timing is on the money, Nina will actually parry his attack, leaving him wide open for a countermove.’
    ward off, fend off, stave off, turn aside
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Answer (a question or accusation) evasively.
      ‘he parried questions from reporters outside the building’
      • ‘She parried questions of presspersons with élan, and seemed perfectly at home in the Ministry of Tourism.’
      • ‘A relaxed Mr Kennedy did not sparkle, but remained jocular as he parried friendly questions.’
      • ‘As my editorial staff can vouch, there was hardly a day during the race for governor of California when I was not required to parry questions from the media, American and otherwise.’
      • ‘But the smart girl behind the model was ready to parry all questions.’
      • ‘Glass, who parried questions about the veracity of those articles, should correct the record.’
      • ‘But he parries questions with these guys, and says, ‘Are you sure you need all those - or you don't.’’
      • ‘But he parried questions about the new unit, which had already got off to a rocky start, we discovered.’
      • ‘Delight is an understatement, but he keeps it all under perfect control, parrying a host of questions with the aplomb which has won him many admirers, including Rupert Murdoch.’
      • ‘He was circumspect and parried all my questions but did not discount my fears.’
      • ‘In a closed-door meeting, the folksy cleric parries lawmakers' queries by smearing the ministers with corruption charges.’
      • ‘But she parried our questions with a wit that reminds us why we found her mother so delightful.’
      • ‘He consistently parried any questions about his newfound environmentalism.’
      • ‘Even now, during an interview in the family's Manhattan loft, Wong parries questions about his sexuality, his religion, even his age.’
      evade, sidestep, avoid, dodge, answer evasively, field, fend off, deflect, circumvent, steer clear of, fight shy of
      View synonyms

noun

  • An act of parrying something.

    ‘her question met with a polite parry’
    • ‘He watched his father's neat, even blows, chops, cuts, and parries.’
    • ‘Another parry, a block, a feint and Luther rolled out of harm's way.’
    • ‘Parry after parry and blow after blow were the only things Reana thought about as she struggled in the midst of the fight.’
    • ‘Several blows and parries were executed as images of imaginary foes continued to appear all around him.’
    • ‘Cecil was fighting for his life now, his body screamed with each parry, each step and each blow.’
    • ‘The humour is consistent right from the start and nearly always borders on ridiculous, which is a nice parry to the action.’
    • ‘Making turns, parries and blows against an imaginary opponent Alaina got lost in a constant rhythm.’
    • ‘‘I'm so glad I have someone smart sitting next to me, or life would be a bore,’ Jake thought as he prepared a verbal parry.’
    • ‘No. Walker's prologue and epilogue (a revealing look at various parries arguing over where Liszt should be buried) clearly frame the diary's events.’
    • ‘This particular rant had been initiated by Nicholas' ill-advised attempt to employ a parry to block the simplistic head-thrust from the robot.’
    • ‘Deb has a breakdown when her perfect parry turns out not to be.’
    • ‘A quick parry of the blow, and Tanaka returned the favor with a right hook.’
    • ‘They paused for a moment and began to trade a flurry of blows, parries and dodges in a blur of movement.’

Origin

Late 17th century: probably representing French parez! ‘ward off!’, imperative of parer, from Italian parare ‘ward off’.

Pronunciation

parry

/ˈpɛri//ˈperē/