Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definition

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] American English pronunciation: pare /per/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participleparing
past tensepared
past participlepared

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    to reduce the total number or amount of something
    pare something down/back:

    The list has been pared down from 9 states to 4.

    pare something to the bone (=reduce it by as much as you can):

    Government spending on defense has been pared to the bone.

Word of the Day


the occasion on which Jesus Christ was brought back to life after his death, according to the Bible


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog