palaver

noun
pa·​lav·​er | \ pə-ˈla-vər How to pronounce palaver (audio) , -ˈlä- How to pronounce palaver (audio) \

Definition of palaver

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a long parley usually between persons of different cultures or levels of sophistication a palaver between foreign ministers
b : conference, discussion a palaver between union leaders
2a : idle talk Cut the palaver and get down to business.
b : misleading or beguiling speech Don't get taken in by the candidate's palaver.

palaver

verb
palavered; palavering\ pə-​ˈla-​və-​riŋ How to pronounce palaver (audio) , -​ˈlä-​ ; -​ˈlav-​riŋ , -​ˈläv-​ \

Definition of palaver (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to talk profusely or idly
2 : parley

transitive verb

: to use palaver to : cajole

Did you know?

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."

Examples of palaver in a Sentence

Noun Enough of this palaver. We have a lot to discuss. seemingly endless palaver between the negotiating parties Verb 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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Brooks Brothers Riot, as the event would be called—on account of the shirts and blazers worn by many in the angry crowd—briefly became the subject of high-minded Washington palaver. Benjamin Wofford, Wired, 10 Mar. 2022 And up from under the palaver there is golden food. John Ashbery, The New York Review of Books, 13 May 2021 And up from under the palaver there is golden food. John Ashbery, The New York Review of Books, 13 May 2021 And up from under the palaver there is golden food. John Ashbery, The New York Review of Books, 13 May 2021 And up from under the palaver there is golden food. John Ashbery, The New York Review of Books, 13 May 2021 And up from under the palaver there is golden food. John Ashbery, The New York Review of Books, 13 May 2021 The more the industry tries to make electric cars achieve ICE-type high-speed cruising levels and long-range, the more electric CO2 advantages are diluted with ever bigger batteries and the polluting palaver notched up along the way. Neil Winton, Forbes, 12 Sep. 2021 Perhaps one upside of the palaver is that Radnor residents have become more politically engaged. New York Times, 30 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On the one hand, Hrabal’s palavering bears a direct relation to reality. Becca Rothfeld, The New Yorker, 19 Nov. 2019 See More

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.

First Known Use of palaver

Noun

1735, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1713, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for palaver

Noun and Verb

Portuguese palavra word, speech, from Late Latin parabola parable, speech

Learn More About palaver

Time Traveler for palaver

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The first known use of palaver was in 1713

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Dictionary Entries Near palaver

Palaung-wa

palaver

palaverer

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Statistics for palaver

Last Updated

23 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Palaver.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/palaver. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of palaver for Spanish Speakers

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