Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A distinct division of written or printed matter that begins on a new, usually indented line, consists of one or more sentences, and typically deals with a single thought or topic or quotes one speaker's continuous words.
  • noun A mark ( ¶ ) used to indicate where a new paragraph should begin or to serve as a reference mark.
  • noun A brief article, notice, or announcement, as in a newspaper.
  • transitive verb To divide or arrange into paragraphs.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A distinct part of a discourse or writing relating to a particular point, whether consisting of one sentence or of many sentences: in this sense the word does not necessarily imply the division defined below.
  • noun A division of written or printed matter, usually formed by beginning on a new line, and by leaving a small blank space before the first letter.
  • noun A short passage; a brief notice, a in a newspaper.
  • noun A character having the form ¶, used to mark or (in manuscript for the press or in proof) to give direction for the beginning of a new paragraph, or as a mark of reference. This character is a reversed P, the initial letter of paragraph. Abbreviated par.
  • To form into or write in paragraphs.
  • To mention or speak of in a paragraph; specifically, to make the subject of a paragraph or brief notice in a newspaper.
  • Same as paraph.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Originally, a marginal mark or note, set in the margin to call attention to something in the text, e. g., a change of subject; now, the character ¶, commonly used in the text as a reference mark to a footnote, or to indicate the place of a division into sections.
  • noun A distinct part of a discourse or writing; any section or subdivision of a writing or chapter which relates to a particular point, whether consisting of one or many sentences. The division is sometimes noted by the mark ¶, but usually, by beginning the first sentence of the paragraph on a new line and at more than the usual distance from the margin, also called indenting the line. See indentation{4}.
  • noun A brief composition complete in one typographical section or paragraph; an item, remark, or quotation comprised in a few lines forming one paragraph
  • transitive verb To divide into paragraphs; to mark with the character ¶.
  • transitive verb To express in the compass of a paragraph.
  • transitive verb To mention in a paragraph or paragraphs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A passage in text that is about a different subject from the preceding text, marked by commencing on a new line, the first line sometimes being indented.
  • verb To sort text into paragraphs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb write paragraphs; work as a paragrapher
  • verb divide into paragraphs, as of text
  • verb write about in a paragraph
  • noun one of several distinct subdivisions of a text intended to separate ideas; the beginning is usually marked by a new indented line

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English paragraf, from Old French paragrafe, from Medieval Latin paragraphus, from Greek paragraphos, line showing a break in sense or a change of speakers in a dialogue, from paragraphein, to write beside : para-, beside; see para– + graphein, to write; see gerbh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French paragraphe from Latin paragraphus ("sign for start of a new section of discourse") " from Ancient Greek παράγραφος, from παρά ("beside") and γράφω ("I write").

Examples

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