Sword fighters thrust and parry. To thrust is to try to stab, and to parry is to avoid getting stabbed by blocking a thrust. Though it comes from fencing, parry is also handy in dodgeball and awkward conversations

The word parry means to block or evade a movement, like in fencing, but it can also refer to an evasion that is verbal rather than physical. If someone asks you who you have a crush on, but you don’t want to answer, parry the question — change the subject or ask a question in return. When used in this way parry retains its sense of defending yourself through evasion.

Definitions of parry

v impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball)

block, deflect
Type of:
fight with sword-like foils

v avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)

circumvent, dodge, duck, elude, evade, fudge, hedge, put off, sidestep, skirt
dodge, avoid answering, or take for granted
evade the truth of a point or question by raising irrelevant objections
Type of:
stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something

n (fencing) blocking a lunge or deflecting it with a circular motion of the sword

Type of:
block, blocking
the act of obstructing or deflecting someone's movements

n a return punch (especially by a boxer)

counter, counterpunch
Type of:
biff, clout, lick, poke, punch, slug
(boxing) a blow with the fist

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