Dictionary: PAR'A-SANG – PAR'CEL-ING

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A Persian measure of length, which Herodotus states to be thirty stadia, nearly four English miles; but in different times and places, it has been 30, 40 or 50 stadia. – Herod. Euterp. Encyc.

PAR-A-SCENE', or PAR-AS-CE'NI-UM, n. [Gr. παρα and σκηνη.]

Among the Romans, an apartment on the back part of a theater, used by the actors for robing and unrobing themselves. – Elmes.



PA-RA-SCEVE', n. [Gr. παρασκευη, preparation.]

Preparation; the sabbath-eve of the Jews. Chalmers.

PAR-A-SE-LENE', n. [Gr. παρα, about or near, and σηληνη, the moon.]

A mock moon; a luminous ring or circle encompassing the moon, in which sometimes are other bright spots bearing some resemblance to the moon. – Encyc.

PAR'A-SITE, n. [Fr. parasite; It. parassito; Sp. parasito; L. parasita; from Gr. παρασιτος; παρα, by, and σιτος, corn.]

  1. In ancient Greece, a priest or minister of the gods whose office was to gather of the husbandman the corn allotted for public sacrifices. The public storehouse in which this corn was deposited was called παρασιτον. The parasites also superintended the sacrifices. – Potter's Antiq.
  2. In modern usage, a trencher friend; one that frequents the tables of the rich and earns his welcome by flattery; a hanger on; a fawning flatterer. – Milton. Dryden.
  3. In botany, a plant without the means of providing nutriment for itself, or of elaborating crude sap into proper sap, but obtaining nourishment immediately from other plants to which it attaches itself, and whose juices it absorbs. A parasite is different from an epiphyte, – which see.
  4. In entomology, parasites are insects which in some stage of their existence, eat the bodies or the eggs of other insects and frequently destroy them.


  1. Flattering; wheedling; fawning for bread or favors.
  2. Growing as a parasite grows.
  3. Living on some other body.


In a flattering or wheedling manner; by dependence on another.


The behavior or manners of a parasite. – Milton.

PAR'A-SOL, n. [Fr. Sp.; It. parasole; Gr. παρα, against, or It. parare, to parry, and L. sol, Fr. soleil, It. sole, the sun.]

A small umbrella used by ladies to defend themselves from rain, or their faces from the sun's rays.

PAR-A-SY-NAX'IS, n. [Gr.]

An unlawful meeting.

PAR'AT, n.

A fish of the mullet kind, found in Brazil.

PA-RATH'E-SIS, n. [Gr. παραθεσις; παρα and θεσις.]

In grammar, apposition, or the placing of two or more nouns in the same case. – Jones.

PA-RAT'O-MOUS, a. [Gr. παρα, about, and τεμνω, to cleave.]

In mineralogy, having the faces or cleavage of an indeterminate number. – Shepard.

PAR-A-VAIL, a. [Norm. par, by, and availe, profit.]

In feudal law, the tenant paravail, is the lowest tenant holding under a mean or mediate lord, as distinguished from a tenant in capite, who holds immediately of the king. – Blackstone.

PAR'A-VANT, or PAR'A-VAUNT, adv. [Fr. par and avant, before.]

In front; publicly. [Not English nor used.] – Spenser.

PAR-BOIL, v.t. [Fr. parbouillir. Bouillir is to boil, and in Arm. porbollen is a pustule or little push.]

  1. To boil in part; to boil in a moderate degree.
  2. To cause little vesicles on the skin by means of heat; as, parboiled wretches. – Donne.


Boiled moderately or in part.

PAR'BREAK, v.i. [See Break.]

To vomit. [Obs.] – Skelton.


Among seamen, a rope like a pair of slings for hoisting casks, &c.

PAR'CEL, n. [Fr. parcelle, contracted probably from L. particula, particle, from pars, part.]

  1. A part; a portion of any thing taken separately. The same experiments succeed on two parcels of the white of an egg. – Arbuthnot.
  2. A quantity; any mass. – Newton.
  3. A part belonging to a whole; as in law, one piece of ground is part and parcel of a greater piece.
  4. A small bundle or package of goods.
  5. A number of persons; in contempt. – Shak.
  6. A number or quantity; in contempt; as, a parcel of fair words. – L'Estrange.

PAR'CEL, v.t.

  1. To divide into parts or portions; as, to parcel an estate among heirs. These ghastly kings would parcel out my power. – Dryden.
  2. To make up into a mass. [Little used.] – Shak. To parcel a seam, in seamen's language, to lay canvas over it and daub it with pitch. – Mar. Dict.


Divided into portions.


Among seamen, long narrow slips of canvas daubed with tar and bound about a rope like a bandage, before it is sewed. It is used also to raise a mouse on the stays, &c. – Mar. Dict.


Dividing into portions.