1. analyze syntactically by assigning a constituent structure to (a sentence)
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
parse \parse\ (p[aum]rs), v. t. [imp. & p. p. parsed
(p[aum]rst); p. pr. & vb. n. parsing.] [L. pars a part;
pars orationis a part of speech. See Part, n.] (Gram.)
To resolve into its elements, as a sentence, pointing out the
several parts of speech, and their relation to each other by
government or agreement; to analyze and describe
Let him construe the letter into English, and parse it
over perfectly. --Ascham.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
v 1: analyze syntactically by assigning a constituent structure
to (a sentence)
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
19 Moby Thesaurus words for "parse":
analyze, block out, bracket, conjugate, decline, detail, enumerate,
hyphenate, inflect, itemize, mark, number, outline, parenthesize,
point, punctuate, resolve, scan, schematize
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):
1. To determine the syntactic structure of a sentence or other utterance
(close to the standard English meaning). ?That was the one I saw you.? ?I
can't parse that.?
2. More generally, to understand or comprehend. ?It's very simple; you just
kretch the glims and then aos the zotz.? ?I can't parse that.?
3. Of fish, to have to remove the bones yourself. ?I object to parsing fish
?, means ?I don't want to get a whole fish, but a sliced one is okay?. A
parsed fish has been deboned. There is some controversy over whether
unparsed should mean ?bony?, or also mean ?deboned?.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):
An algorithm or program to determine the
syntactic structure of ("to parse") a sentence or string of
symbols in some language. A parser normally takes as input
a sequence of tokens output by a lexical analyser. It may
produce some kind of abstract syntax tree as output. A
parser may be produced automatically from a grammar by a
parser generator such as yacc.
A parser is normally part of some larger program, like a
compiler, which takes the output of the parser and attempts
to extract meaning from it in some way, e.g. translating it
into another language.