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parry (v.)

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.

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Definitions of parry
1
parry (v.)
impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball);
Synonyms: block / deflect
parry (v.)
avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues);
Synonyms: hedge / fudge / evade / put off / circumvent / elude / skirt / dodge / duck / sidestep
2
parry (n.)
(fencing) blocking a lunge or deflecting it with a circular motion of the sword;
parry (n.)
a return punch (especially by a boxer);
Synonyms: counterpunch / counter
From wordnet.princeton.edu