|Definition - To break up a phrase, sentence, or passage into its grammatical parts, while at the same time describing the syntactic roles of these parts.|
Etymology - The term and concept ultimately derive from the Latin grammar school question Quae pars orationis?, What part of speech (is it)?
Oxford English Dictionary - Its first citation is from about 1553:
"He [Prince Edward] hath learned almoste foure bookes of Cato to construe, to parse, and to say wythout booke."
(Coxe Let. in Foxe A. & M. (1583) 1395/2 )