What Does the Useful Idiomatic Phrase “Pare Down” Mean?

“Pare down” is a phrase you will see and hear quite often because it is frequently used in conversation and writing. If you have seen this phrase before and wondered about it, then look no further than this article. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase and the story behind its origin. You will also see some examples of the phrase used in sentences and conversations so you can learn how to correctly use the phrase for yourself. Rounding out this information, you will see some suggestions of words and/or phrases that you can use in place of this phrase to convey the same meaning.

Pare Down

Pare Down Meaning

The idiom “pare down” means to reduce in size or number by getting rid of things or by cutting away a part of something.

Origin of this idiomatic phrase

The phrase “pare down” comes from the origin of the word “pare.” Throughout time, the word “pare” has taken on many different meanings. The word first appeared in the 1300s with the meaning of “cutting or trimming close. It wasn’t until 1520 that the word took on the meaning “to reduce gradually over time.” This is where the phrase “pare down” first evolved since the word “down” means to move downward or lessen in number.

“Pare Down” Examples

Example Sentences

  • I told my mom I needed a bigger closet, but she said I needed to pare down my shoe collection instead.
  • Sandra realized that she needed to pare down her expenses until after the holidays if she was going to have enough money for her plane ticket home.
  • We were asked to pare down our budget.
  • The government was trying hard to pare down its expenses.
  • With less money coming in, we had to pare down household expenses.
  • Jane makes less money now, so she had to pare down her expenses.
  • The luxury tax won’t really do much to pare down the budget deficit.

Example Conversations

A conversation between a mother and her daughter.

  • Daughter: Mom, I need you to sign this.
  • Mother: What is it?
  • Daughter: It’s to let you know that I am failing two of my classes.
  • Mother: Amelia, I think it is time for you pare down your after-school activities.

A conversation between two co-workers at the office.

  • Co-worker 1: I heard the company is making some cuts.
  • Co-worker 2: Yeah, my manager told me they need to pare down or else the company will go bankrupt.

Alternatives to “Pare Down”

There are several ways to substitute other words and phrases to replace “pare down” and still convey the same meaning. Some of the alternative phrasing you could use include:

  • Reduce
  • Decrease
  • Lessen
  • Cut
  • Diminish
  • Shorten

What does “Pare Down” Mean? | Image

Pare Down