late 12c., "Garden of Eden," from Old French paradis "paradise, Garden of Eden" (11c.), from Late Latin paradisus, from Greek paradeisos "park, paradise, Garden of Eden," from an Iranian source similar to Avestan pairidaeza "enclosure, park" (Modern Persian and Arabic firdaus "garden, paradise"), compound of pairi- "around" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, near, against, around") + diz "to make, form (a wall)."
The first element is cognate with Greek peri "around, about" (see per), the second is from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build."
The Greek word, originally used for an orchard or hunting park in Persia, was used in Septuagint to mean "Garden of Eden," and in New Testament translations of Luke xxiii.43 to mean "heaven" (a sense attested in English from c. 1200). Meaning "place like or compared to Paradise" is from c. 1300.
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