late 14c., "of or pertaining to a parish," from Anglo-French parochiel (early 14c.), from Old French parochial, from Late Latin parochialis "of a parish" (c. 600), from parochia (see parish).
Figurative sense, "limited, narrow," as if confined to a small region, is from 1856 (also see parochialism). Parochial school is attested from 1755.
updated on January 21, 2020