1. 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.
2. A mark ( ¶ ) used to indicate where a new paragraph should begin or to serve as a reference mark.
3. A brief article, notice, or announcement, as in a newspaper.
tr.v. par·a·graphed, par·a·graph·ing, par·a·graphs
To divide or arrange into paragraphs.
[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-1 + graphein, to write; see gerbh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
par′a·graphic, par′a·graphi·cal adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus