c. 1300, "district with its own church; members of such a church," from Anglo-French paroche, parosse (late 11c.), Old French paroisse, from Late Latin parochia, paroecia "a diocese," an alteration of Late Greek paroikia "a diocese or parish," from paroikos "a sojourner" (in Christian writers), in classical Greek, "neighbor," from para- "near" (see para- (1)) + oikos "house" (from PIE root *weik- (1) "clan").
The sense development of the word in the early Church is unclear, perhaps it is from "sojourner" used as epithet of early Christians as spiritual sojourners in the material world. In early Church writing the word was used in a more general sense than Greek dioikesis, though by 13c. they were synonymous. It replaced Old English preostscyr, literally "priest-shire." In Great Britain (from the 1630s), some southern American colonies, and Louisiana it has been the name for a purely civil division for purposes of local government, with boundaries originally corresponding to an ecclesiastical parish.
early 15c., Parisien (n.), "native or inhabitant of Paris;" 1610s (adj.), "of or pertaining to Paris;" from French parisien, from Medieval Latin parisianus (see Paris). Fem. form Parisienne (n.) is attested in English from 1886.
1570s, "equality or equivalence of rank or status," from French parité (14c.) or directly from Late Latin paritas "equality," from Latin adjective par (genitive paris) "equal" (see par (n.)). Meaning "state or condition of being on a level" is from 1610s. Meaning "condition in which adversaries have equal resources" is from 1955, originally in reference to the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.
mid-13c., "tract of land enclosed as a preserve for beasts of the chase," from Old French parc "enclosed wood or heath land used as a game preserve" (12c.), probably ultimately from West Germanic *parruk "enclosed tract of land" (source also of Old English pearruc, root of paddock (n.2), Old High German pfarrih "fencing about, enclosure," German pferch "fold for sheep," Dutch park).
Internal evidence suggests the West Germanic word is pre-4c. and originally meant the fencing, not the place enclosed. It is found also in Medieval Latin as parricus "enclosure, park" (8c.), which likely is the direct source of the Old French word, as well as Italian parco, Spanish parque, etc. Some claim the Medieval Latin word as the source of the West Germanic, but the reverse seems more likely. Some later senses in English represent later borrowings from French. OED discounts the notion of a Celtic origin: Welsh parc, Gaelic pairc are from English.
Meaning "enclosed lot in or near a town, set aside and maintained for public recreation" is attested from 1660s, originally in reference to London; the sense evolution is via royal parks in the original, hunting sense being overrun by the growth of London and being opened to the public. It was applied to sporting fields in American English from 1867.
New York's Park Avenue as an adjective meaning "luxurious and fashionable" (1956) was preceded in the same sense by London's Park Lane (1880). As a surname, Parker "keeper of a park" is attested in English from mid-12c. As a vehicle transmission gear, park (n.) is attested from 1949.
1812, "to arrange military vehicles in a park," from park (n.) in a limited sense of "enclosure for guns, wagons, horses, provisions, etc." (attested from 1680s). General non-military meaning "to put (a vehicle) in a certain place" is first recorded 1844. Related: Parked; parking. Park-and-ride is from 1966.
1780, "hooded outer garment made of skins, worn by Eskimos," from Aleut parka, from Russian parka "a pelt or jacket made from pelt," which is said to be from Samoyed, a Uralic language spoken in Siberia. As the trade name of a similar wind-proof manufactured garment (also known as an anorak), by 1958.
"act of putting (a vehicle) in a certain place," 1915, verbal noun from park (v.). Parking lot "plot of ground used for parking vehicles" is from 1920; parking ticket "notification of a parking violation" attested by 1925; parking meter "device to measure the time allowed for parking" is by 1935. Parking brake "brake used to hold a parked vehicle in place" is recorded from 1927.
form of paralysis, 1877, from French maladie de Parkinson (1876), named for English physician James Parkinson (1755-1824), who described it (1817) under the names shaking palsy and paralysis agitans.