1

palaver

noun pa·lav·er \ pə-ˈla-vər , -ˈlä- \

Definition of palaver

1 a : 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
2 a : 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 was our Word of the Day on 09/25/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of palaver in a Sentence

  1. Enough of this palaver. We have a lot to discuss.

  2. seemingly endless palaver between the negotiating parties

Recent Examples of palaver from the Web

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.

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," which in turn comes from the Greek parabolē, meaning "juxtaposition" or "comparison."

Origin and Etymology of palaver

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

2

palaver

verb

Definition of palaver

palavered; palavering play \pə-ˈla-və-riŋ, -ˈlä-; -ˈlav-riŋ, -ˈläv-\
intransitive verb
1 : to talk profusely or idly
2 : parley
transitive verb
: to use palaver to : cajole

Examples of palaver in a Sentence

  1. mothers palavering and drinking coffee while watching their children play

  2. I let the salesclerk at the electronics store palaver me into a service contract that I didn't need.

Origin and Etymology of palaver


PALAVER Defined for English Language Learners

palaver

noun

Definition of palaver for English Language Learners

  • : talk that is not important or meaningful

  • : excitement and activity caused by something that is not important



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