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. parangon, Ital. paragone 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. irapaKovav, to sharpen by the use of a whetstone (aKovq). 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 100 carats; and formerly of a fabric used for hangings in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)