- often Paradise The Garden of Eden.
a. The abode of righteous souls after death; heaven.
b. An intermediate resting place for righteous souls awaiting the Resurrection.
- A place of ideal beauty or loveliness.
- A state of delight.
Origin: Middle English paradis
Origin: , from Old French
Origin: , from Late Latin paradīsus
Origin: , from Greek paradeisos, garden, enclosed park, paradise
Origin: , from Avestan pairidaēza-, enclosure, park
Origin: : pairi-, around; see per1 in Indo-European roots
Origin: + daēzō, wall; see dheigh- in Indo-European roots
- parˌa·di·siˈa·cal (-dĭ-sīˈə-kəl, -zīˈ-), parˌa·di·siˈac (-ăk), parˌa·di·saˈi·cal (-dĭ-sāˈĭ-kəl, -zāˈ-), parˌa·di·saˈic (-ĭk), parˌa·disˈal (-dīˈsəl, -zəl) adjective
- parˌa·di·siˈa·cal·ly, parˌa·di·saˈi·cal·ly, parˌa·disˈal·ly adverb
The history of paradise
is an extreme example of amelioration, the process by which a word comes to refer to something better than what it used to refer to. The old Iranian language Avestan had a noun pairidaēza-,
“a wall enclosing a garden or orchard,” which is composed of pairi-,
“around,” and daēza-
“wall.” The adverb and preposition pairi
is related to the equivalent Greek form peri,
as in perimeter. Daēza-
comes from the Indo-European root *dheigh-,
“to mold, form, shape.” Zoroastrian religion encouraged maintaining arbors, orchards, and gardens, and even the kings of austere Sparta were edified by seeing the Great King of Persia planting and maintaining his own trees in his own garden. Xenophon, a Greek mercenary soldier who spent some time in the Persian army and later wrote histories, recorded the pairidaēza-
surrounding the orchard as paradeisos,
using it not to refer to the wall itself but to the huge parks that Persian nobles loved to build and hunt in. This Greek word was used in the Septuagint translation of Genesis to refer to the Garden of Eden, whence Old English eventually borrowed it around 1200.