par·​lance | \ ˈpär-lən(t)s How to pronounce parlance (audio) \

Definition of parlance

1 : speech especially : formal debate or parley … battle and not parlance should determine his right and title. — John Speed
2 : manner or mode of speech : idiom The company's computer system had, in computer parlance, "crashed."

Examples of parlance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But there are also far more lurid definitions in common parlance: Ralphing means upchucking from drink, boufing is ingesting alcohol anally (not kidding here, look it up), and the triangle is a three-way consisting of two men and one woman. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: Ralphing, Boufing, and the Devil’s Triangle," 30 Sep. 2018 In an emergency, the US Air procedures call for the copilot to take the controls while the captain makes the decisions, free from the mechanical burden of flying the plane—this is called Pilot Monitoring, or PM, in aviation parlance. Allen St. John, Popular Mechanics, "What Went Right: Revisiting Captain "Sully" Sullenberger and the Miracle on the Hudson," 15 Jan. 2019 Most of the job cuts were expected to hit employees — or partners, in Starbucks’ parlance — at the company’s Sodo headquarters, where about 5,000 people work. Benjamin Romano, The Seattle Times, "Starbucks laying off 350 people, mostly at Seattle headquarters," 13 Nov. 2018 Previously, Starship was comprised of the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) and the Big Falcon Spaceship (BFS), in the acronym-heavy parlance typical of spaceflight. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Elon Musk Unexpectedly Renamed the Big Falcon Rocket 'Starship'," 20 Nov. 2018 Each character has its share of subtle weirdness and weaknesses, and breaking this down requires using some of the series' special-move parlance. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Smash Bros. Ultimate review: The best fighting game on any Nintendo system," 6 Dec. 2018 The lame-duck session is so established in congressional parlance that the U.S. Senate even includes it in its official online glossary. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "How ‘Lame Duck’ Flew From the Stock Market to Politics," 30 Nov. 2018 That phrase, rare for that part of the world, means in military parlance that a unit was involved in an extensive gun battle. New York Times, "In Niger Ambush, Rushing Into the Gunfire to Save the Fallen," 10 May 2018 But those horses, as in any Derby, are in just the spring of their three-year-old seasons, teenagers in human parlance. Tim Layden,, "Kentucky Derby Preview: Justify Headlines Unusually Crowded Field of Contenders," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parlance.' 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 parlance

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for parlance

Middle French, from Old French, from parler

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Statistics for parlance

Last Updated

7 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for parlance

The first known use of parlance was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of parlance

formal : language used by a particular group of people

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Comments on parlance

What made you want to look up parlance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

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