Online Encyclopedia

PARAGON

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 756 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PARAGON, a term for that which is a model of excellence or pattern of perfection, hence some person or thing which has no equal. The word was adopted from the O. Fr. paragon, Mod. paraggon, Ital. paragon and Span. paragon. The Spanish has usually been taken as the source, and the word explained as from the prepositional phrase Para con, in comparison with. But the word first appears in Italian, meaning a " touchstone.” The Italian word may be connected with the Gr. lraparov&v, to sharpen by the use of a whetstone (alto' ). The term has been used in several technical applications, e.g. in printing, of a large style of type between " great primer " and " double pica," now usually called " two-line long primer "; of a diamond weighing more than loo carats; and formerly of a fabric used for hangings in the 17th and 18th centuries.
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