1590s (first recorded use in English is in Ben Jonson), "literary work in which the form and expression of dignified writing are closely imitated but are made ridiculous by the ludicrously inappropriate subject or methods; a travesty that follows closely the form and expression of the original," from or in imitation of Latin parodia "parody," from Greek parōidia "burlesque song or poem," from para- "beside, parallel to" (see para- (1), in this case, "mock-") + ōidē "song, ode" (see ode). The meaning "a poor or feeble imitation" is from 1830. Related: Parodic; parodical.
1745, "to turn into a parody, write a parody upon," from parody (n.). The general sense of "to imitate as a parody" is by 1801. Related: Parodied; parodying.