From Middle French paranymphe, from Latin paranymphus, from Ancient Greek παράνυμφος (paránumphos, “friend of bridegroom”), from παρα- (para-, “para-”) + νύμφη (númphē, “bride”).
paranymph (plural paranymphs)
- (now rare) A friend of the bridegroom, a best man; a bridesmaid. [from 16th c.]
1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, […]”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: […] J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398, line 631, page 63:
Thy Paranymph, worthleſs to thee compar'd,
- (now rare) An ally or spokesman; someone who speaks in support of someone else. [from 16th c.]
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Jeremy Taylor to this entry?)