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From Latin parasanga, from Ancient Greek παρασάγγης (parasángēs), from unattested Old Persian (indigenously attested only in Middle Iranian onwards); compare Middle Persian plsng (frasang, frasang (4 Roman miles)) (> Persian فرسنگ (farsang)).



parasang (plural parasangs or parasang)

  1. A historical Iranian unit of itinerant distance used throughout the Western Mediterranean and the Middle East in antiquity, originally the distance travelled in one hour, and generally assumed to be equivalent to about six kilometres. [from 16th c.]
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069:, New York Review of Books, 2001, p.66:
      To see so much difference betwixt words and deeds, so many parasangs betwixt tongue and heart […].
    • 2013, Lucy Renner Jones, translating Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Death in Persia, Seagull Books 2013, p. 44:
      We were told that we still had to drive six or sixty parasang.


  • MacKenzie, D. N. (1971), “frasang”, in A concise Pahlavi dictionary, London, New York, Toronto: Oxford University Press, page 32