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para- (1)

before vowels, par-, word-forming element, originally in Greek-derived words, meaning "alongside, beyond; altered; contrary; irregular, abnormal," from Greek para- from para (prep.) "beside, near; issuing from; against, contrary to," from PIE *prea, from root *per- (1) "forward," hence "toward, near; against." Cognate with Old English for- "off, away." Mostly used in scientific and technical words; not usually regarded as a naturalized formative element in English.

para- (2)

word-forming element of Latin origin meaning "defense, protection against; that which protects from," from Italian para, imperative of parare "to ward off," from Latin parare "make ready" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure"). It figures in parachute, parasol, parapet, etc.

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