In golf, par is the average number of times an excellent player needs to hit the ball, either for one particular hole or for the entire course. You might describe the fourth hole, for example, as being par five.

If a golf course is par sixteen, it takes a really good golfer about sixteen strokes to get her ball into the final hole. From the sports meaning of par, it's come to also mean "average" or "equivalent," especially in phrases like "under par," or "worse than expected," and "par for the course," or "what is normal given the circumstances." This definition actually came first, in the form of the Latin par, "equal."

Definitions of par

n (golf) the standard number of strokes set for each hole on a golf course, or for the entire course

“a par-5 hole”
par for this course is 72”
Type of:
a number that expresses the accomplishment of a team or an individual in a game or contest

n a state of being essentially equal or equivalent; equally balanced

“on a par with the best”
equality, equation, equivalence
egalite, egality
social and political equality
equality of score in a contest
a tie in tennis or table tennis that requires winning two successive points to win the game
Type of:
position, status
the relative position or standing of things or especially persons in a society

v make a score (on a hole) equal to par

Type of:
hit, rack up, score, tally
gain points in a game

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