blar·​ney | \ ˈblär-nē How to pronounce blarney (audio) \

Definition of blarney

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : skillful flattery : blandishment


geographical name
Blar·​ney | \ ˈblär-nē How to pronounce Blarney (audio) \

Definition of Blarney (Entry 2 of 2)

town in County Cork, southwestern Ireland population 1952

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Other Words from blarney


blarney verb

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The village of Blarney in County Cork, Ireland, is home to Blarney Castle, and in the southern wall of that edifice lies the famous Blarney Stone. Legend has it that anyone who kisses the Blarney Stone will gain the gift of skillful flattery, but that gift must be attained at the price of some limber maneuvering - you have to lie down and hang your head over a precipice to reach and kiss the stone. One story claims the word blarney gained popularity as a word for flattery after Queen Elizabeth I of England used it to describe the flowery (but apparently less than honest) cajolery of McCarthy Mor, who was then the lord of Blarney Castle.

Examples of blarney in a Sentence

Noun She was charmed by his blarney. a tale with more than a hint of blarney
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The 36-year Senate veteran with a touch of the Irish blarney and the on-message, one-term senator took time to warm to each other. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, 19 Mar. 2021 These reasons for opposing this vanguard of Warren/Sanders/Harris socialism, for objecting to this doddering culmination of a half-century of hackery and blarney, elicit varying degrees of disqualification and rage-inducement. Jack Fowler, National Review, 30 Oct. 2020 Enjoy a wee bit o’ blarney and Irish music at the Plymouth Arts Center March 13-14. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 Mar. 2020 The scandal cast him instead as a blarney artist, a man so in love with the power of a good story that facts were incidental. Time, 30 Jan. 2020 Appropriately enough, the Three Clubs show includes not just tricks and blarney, but a range of performers who would not seem out of place in the Catskills in 1911 — ventriloquists, jugglers, comedians and other magicians. Scott Timberg, Los Angeles Times, 16 Aug. 2019 And Adam Cork’s music is full of the blarney of Celtic lilt. Ben Brantley, New York Times, 4 July 2018 As portrayed with loose-limbed brio by recent Salem State University graduate Chris Kandra (a find), Gerry is one of those rogues who seems to believe his own blarney. Don Aucoin,, 20 June 2018 Take that incongruity as fair warning for the blarney that lies ahead. Ron Charles,, 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blarney.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of blarney


1780, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for blarney


Blarney stone, a stone in Blarney Castle, near Cork, Ireland, held to bestow skill in flattery on those who kiss it

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The first known use of blarney was in 1780

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Cite this Entry

“Blarney.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of blarney

informal : talk that is not true but that is nice and somewhat funny and that may be used to trick you

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Nglish: Translation of blarney for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about blarney


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