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Etymology 1[edit]

From Anglo-Norman paroche, parosse, from Old French paroisse, from Late Latin parochia, from Ancient Greek παρоικία ‎(parоikía, a dwelling abroad), from πάρоικος ‎(párоikos, neighboring, foreigner), from παρά ‎(pará, beside) + οἶκος ‎(oîkos, house).


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parish ‎(plural parishes)

  1. In the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church or certain civil government entities such as the state of Louisiana, an administrative part of a diocese that has its own church.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      With some of it on the south and more of it on the north of the great main thoroughfare that connects Aldgate and the East India Docks, St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London.
  2. The community attending that church; the members of the parish.
  3. (US) An ecclesiastical society, usually not bounded by territorial limits, but composed of those persons who choose to unite under the charge of a particular priest, clergyman, or minister; also, loosely, the territory in which the members of a congregation live.
  4. A civil subdivision of a British county, often corresponding to an earlier ecclesiastical parish.
  5. An administrative subdivision in Louisiana that is equivalent to a county in other U.S. states.
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]


parish ‎(third-person singular simple present parishes, present participle parishing, simple past and past participle parished)

  1. (transitive) To place (an area, or rarely a person) into one or more parishes.
    • 1917, Annual Report of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Board of Home Missions and Church Extension, page 70:
      [] [m]akes possible, through the aid of the rural ministers, the development of the various phases of the District program, such as (a) Parishing of the District; (b) Interdenominational adjustment in the interest of rural religious advance []
    • 1972, Winter's Tales from Ireland, volume 2, page 55:
      Father Malachy, a distant cousin, who was parished somewhere in the depths of Co. Monaghan, sat firmly in the chair in the corner, sipping his tea from a china cup.
    • 1991, Melissa Bradley Kirkpatrick, Re-parishing the Countryside: Progressivism and Religious Interests in Rural Life Reform, 1908-1934
    • 1992, Parish and town councils in England: a survey, pages 17 and 21:
      Consequently, approaching half of the non-metropolitan population of England is parished (Table 2.2).
      The South West and East Midlands are also particularly well parished while the North West, West Midlands and South East are poorly parished.
    • 2011, Sustainable development in the Localism Bill: third report (ISBN 0215557050), page 5
      Dr Whitehead: In your written evidence, you have all in different ways made the distinction between NDOs in parished areas and NDOs in non-parished areas, []
  2. (intransitive) To visit residents of a parish.
    • 1896, Mrs. Humphry Ward, Sir George Tressady, volume 1 (ISBN 3842496737):
      [] a chair immediately opposite to Tressady's place remained vacant. It was being kept for the eldest son of the house, his mother explaining carelessly to Lord Fontenoy that she believed he was "Out parishing somewhere, as usual."
    • 1903, Maxwell Gray, Richard Rosny, page 210:
      "You will take pleasure in parishing. Mother used to parish."
      "How do you know I like parishing?"
      "Your uncle said so."
      "Oh! did he?"
      "And you may like the rectory people; it's a fine old house, and often full of visitors."
    • 1921, Margaret Pedler, The Splendid Folly, page 46:
      "Are you going ‘parishing’ this morning?" inquired Diana, as she watched him fill and light his pipe.
    • 2013, Ann Bridge, Moments of Knowing:
      In 1916 he was Rector of Hampton Bishop, a village on the River Wye outside Hereford, and one day while “parishing”, as he called visiting his flock, a farmers' wife, a Mrs. Christopher Field, gave him an account of her father's death-bed; []

Etymology 2[edit]


parish ‎(third-person singular simple present parishes, present participle parishing, simple past and past participle parished)

  1. Pronunciation spelling of perish, representing Mary-marry-merry English.