Definition of palaver
- a palaver between foreign ministers
- Cut the palaver and get down to business.
- Don't get taken in by the candidate's palaver.
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Enough of this palaver. We have a lot to discuss.
seemingly endless palaver between the negotiating parties
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'palaver.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
During the 18th century, Portuguese and English sailors often met during trading trips along the West African coast. This contact prompted the English to borrow the Portuguese palavra, which usually means "speech" or "word" but was used by Portuguese traders with the specific meaning "discussions with natives." The Portuguese word traces back to the Late Latin parabola, a noun meaning "speech" or "parable," which in turn comes from the Greek parabolē, meaning "juxtaposition" or "comparison."
argument, argumentation, back-and-forth, colloquy, confab, confabulation, conference, consult, consultation, council, counsel, debate, deliberation, dialogue (also dialog), discussion, give-and-take, parley, talk;
mothers palavering and drinking coffee while watching their children play
I let the salesclerk at the electronics store palaver me into a service contract that I didn't need.
: talk that is not important or meaningful
: excitement and activity caused by something that is not important
What made you want to look up palaver? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
subject to rapid or unexpected change
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