Main definitions of para- in English

: para-1para-2

para-1

(also par-)

Pronunciation /ˈparə/

prefix

  • 1Beside; adjacent to.

    ‘parataxis’
    • ‘parathyroid’
    • ‘parameter’
    1. 1.1Medicine Denoting a disordered function or faculty.
      • ‘paresthesia’
    2. 1.2Distinct from, but analogous to.
      ‘paramilitary’
      • ‘paratyphoid’
      • ‘paraphrase’
    3. 1.3Beyond.
      ‘paradox’
      • ‘paranormal’
      • ‘parapsychology’
    4. 1.4Subsidiary; assisting.
      ‘paramedic’
      • ‘paraprofessional’
  • 2Chemistry
    Denoting substitution at diametrically opposite carbon atoms in a benzene ring, e.g., in 1, 4 positions.

    Compare with meta- and ortho-

    • ‘paradichlorobenzene’

Origin

From Greek para ‘beside’; in combinations often meaning ‘amiss, irregular’ and denoting alteration or modification.

Main definitions of para- in English

: para-1para-2

para-2

Pronunciation /ˈparə/

prefix

  • Denoting something that protects or wards off.

    ‘parachute’
    • ‘parasol’

Origin

From French, from the Italian imperative singular of parare ‘defend, shield’ (originally meaning ‘prepare’, from Latin parare).