1630s, "to turn aside or ward off" the blow of a weapon (transitive), from French parez! (a word which would have been heard often in fencing lessons), imperative of parer "ward off," from Italian parare "to ward or defend (a blow)" (see para- (2)). Related: Parried; parrying. Non-fencing use is from 1718. The noun, "an act of warding off or turning aside," is by 1705, from the verb.
1650s, "a show of bravado," also "an orderly assembly of troops for inspections," from French parade "display, show, military parade," formerly also "a halt on horseback" (15c.), or from Italian parate "a warding or defending, a garish setting forth," or Spanish parada "a staying or stopping; a parade," all from Vulgar Latin *parata, from Latin parare "arrange, prepare, adorn" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure").
The Latin word developed widespread senses in Medieval Latin: "to stop, halt; prevent, guard against; dress, trim, adorn." These were passed on to its Romanic offspring. The verb is a doublet of parry. Non-military sense of "public walk, march, procession" is recorded from 1670s. Parade-ground is by 1724; parade-rest is by 1888:
[A] position of rest in which the soldier stands silent and motionless, but which is less fatiguing than the position of "attention": it is much used during parades. [Century Dictionary]
*perə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to produce, procure" and yielding and derived words in diverse senses; possibly related to *pere- (2) "to grant, allot."
It forms all or part of: ante-partum; apparatus; apparel; biparous; disparate; emperor; empire; heifer; imperative; imperator; imperial; juniper; multiparous; nulliparous; oviparous; para- (2) "defense, protection against; that which protects from;" Parabellum; parachute; parade; parados; parapet; parasol; pare; parent; -parous; parry; parturient; poor; post-partum; preparation; prepare; primipara; puerperal; rampart; repair (v.1) "to mend, put back in order;" repertory; separate; sever; several; spar (v.); viper; vituperation; viviparous.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit prthukah "child, calf, young of an animal;" Greek poris "calf, bull;" Latin parare "make ready, prepare," parire "produce, bring forth, give birth to;" Czech spratek "brat, urchin, premature calf;" Lithuanian periu, perėti "to brood;" Old High German farro, German Farre "bullock," Old English fearr "bull."
late 14c., "go quickly, rush, dart, spring;" c. 1400, "to strike or thrust," perhaps from French esparer "to kick" (Modern French éparer), from Italian sparare "to fling," from Latin ex- (see ex-) + parare "make ready, prepare," hence "ward off, parry" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure"). Etymologists consider a connection with spur unlikely. Used in 17c. in reference to preliminary actions in a cock fight; figurative sense of "to dispute, bandy with words" is from 1690s. Extension to humans, in a literal sense, with meaning "to engage in or practice boxing" is attested from 1755. Related: Sparred; sparring.
Old English weardian "to keep guard, watch, protect, preserve," from Proto-Germanic *wardon "to guard" (source also of Old Saxon wardon, Old Norse varða "to guard," Old Frisian wardia, Middle Dutch waerden "to take care of," Old High German warten "to guard, look out for, expect," German warten "to wait, wait on, nurse, tend"), from PIE *war-o-, suffixed form of root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for."
French garder, Italian guardare, Spanish guardar are Germanic loan-words. Meaning "to parry, to fend off" (now usually with off) is recorded from 1570s. Related: Warded; warding.
"edged or pointed weapon for thrusting, shorter than a sword," late 14c. (mid-14c. in Anglo-Latin), apparently related to Old French dague "dagger," from Old Provençal or Italian daga, which are of uncertain origin; perhaps from Celtic, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *daca "Dacian knife," from the Roman province (see Dacian). The ending is possibly the faintly pejorative -ard suffix.
Attested earlier (1279) as a surname (Dagard, presumably "one who carried a dagger"). Also compare dogwood. Middle Dutch dagge, Danish daggert, German Degen also are from French. By 16c.-17c. swordsmen held it in the left hand to parry thrusts from the opponent's rapier. As "a reference mark in the form of a dagger," by 1706.