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illustration Paraph



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Late Middle French, 15th century


A flourish after a signature, originally as a precaution against forgery.

Examples of Paraph in a sentence

"My father’s signature was recognizable because of his ostentatious paraph."

"I recognized the paraph rather than the signature itself."

About Paraph

Borrowed from the French “paraph,” meaning “paragraph,” with both words based on the Latin “paraphus,” meaning “short horizontal stroke.”

Did you Know?

Adding a paraph to one’s signature was an early means of attempting to avoid forgery, since the more ornate one’s paraph, the harder the full signature would be to copy. When a notary signs a document of obligation, such as a mortgage or note referring to money owed, the notary’s signature is called a “paraph.” In this context, a paraph is different from a simple signature, because it certifies the document as legitimate.

illustration Paraph

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