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From Anglo-Norman parochial and its source Late Latin parochialis, an alteration of paroecialis (of a church province), from paroecia, from Hellenistic Greek παροικία (paroikía, stay in a foreign land), later “community, diocese”, from Ancient Greek πάροικος (pároikos, neighbouring, neighbour), from παρα- (para-) + οἶκος (oîkos, house).



parochial (comparative more parochial, superlative most parochial)

  1. Pertaining to a parish.
  2. Characterized by an unsophisticated focus on local concerns to the exclusion of wider contexts; elementary in scope or outlook.
    The use of simple, primary colors in the painting gave it a parochial feel.
    Some people in the United States have been accused of taking a parochial view, of not being interested in international matters.
    • 1918 1st of February, Daniel Desmond Sheehan, “Why I Joined The Army”, in Daily Express, London:
      But for men of principle and honour and straightforward thought there could be no middle course and no paltering with petty issues of party or parochial advantage.
    • 1969, T.C. Smout, A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830, page 341:
      Its atmosphere might have been provincial, but it was never merely parochial.
    • 2021 December 29, Stephen Roberts, “Stories and facts behind railway plaques Cheltenham (1928)”, in RAIL, number 947, page 60:
      The society had apparently been formed the previous year, but as the Cheltenham Spa Railway Society, which sounded rather parochial and unambitious - particularly as (by all accounts) its founders had gathered in a garden shed in the town.

Derived terms[edit]



parochial (plural parochials)

  1. A parochial individual.
    • 2006, Ian Marsh, Democratisation, Governance and Regionalism in East and Southeast Asia:
      If the vast majority of the citizens of our Southeast Asian countries are subjects rather than parochials, the question is: are they also participants?
    • 2022, Sumeyya Ilanbey, Daniel Andrews:
      Australia is divided between cosmopolitans and parochials.

Old French[edit]


Borrowed from Latin parochialis. Compare the inherited term paroissial.


parochial m (oblique and nominative feminine singular parochiale)

  1. parochial


  • English: parochial