parlay

verb
par·​lay | \ ˈpär-ˌlā How to pronounce parlay (audio) , -lē How to pronounce parlay (audio) \
parlayed; parlaying; parlays

Definition of parlay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bet in a parlay
2a : to exploit successfully He hoped to parlay his basketball skills into a college scholarship.
b : to increase or otherwise transform into something of much greater value She parlayed $5,000 and years of hard work into a multimillion-dollar company.

parlay

noun

Definition of parlay (Entry 2 of 2)

: a series of two or more bets so set up in advance that the original stake plus its winnings are risked on the successive wagers broadly : the fresh risking of an original stake together with its winnings

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Did You Know?

Verb

If you're the gambling type, you may already know that parlay can also be used as a noun describing a series of bets in which a person places a bet, then puts the original stake of money and all of its winnings on new wagers. But you might not know that parlay represents a modified spelling of the French name for such bets: paroli. You might also be unaware that the original French word is still occasionally used in English with the same meaning as the noun parlay. Be careful not to mix up parlay with the similar word parley, meaning "to discuss terms with an enemy." Although the spellings are very close, parley comes from the Latin word for "speech."

Examples of parlay in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The 6-foot, 200-pound Thompson parlayed a strong fall camp two years ago into a starting spot, becoming the first true freshman in eight years to start a season opener on defense for the Aztecs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "5 questions with ... Aztecs DB Tariq Thompson," 5 Aug. 2019 Trading spaces, literally In 2018, Platinum Equity founder and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores parlayed his own holdings to land a mega-mansion in another $100-million deal. Los Angeles Times, "These are the most expensive homes ever sold in Los Angeles," 19 July 2019 The now 11-year-old reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, along with its various spinoffs parlayed Kim’s fame into a family empire. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "The controversy over “Kylie Jenner, self-made billionaire,” explained," 13 July 2018 Benson, who parlayed his beginnings as a car salesman into an auto dealership empire, purchased the Saints in 1985 for $70 million and the franchise made the playoffs for the first time two years later. A.j. Perez, USA TODAY, "Tom Benson, owner of Saints and Pelicans, dies at age 90," 15 Mar. 2018 Several advice columnists, including Green and Ask Polly’s Heather Havrilesky, have parlayed their success into books. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Why We Love Advice Columns, According to Psychologists," 15 July 2019 On the other hand, Chris Hogan parlayed a 29-goal season as a junior attackman for Penn State’s lacrosse team into a spot on Monmouth’s football team. Mitchell Gladstone, SI.com, "College Lacrosse Star Pat Spencer Ready for Turn on the Hardwood," 11 July 2019 Taslim parlayed his prowess into stunt-heavy roles, more recently in Netflix’s super bloody (even more bloody than previous Mortal Kombat movies) The Night Comes For Us. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Mortal Kombat movie with James Wan finds its Sub-Zero," 9 July 2019 In the 2016 presidential race, Ailes parlayed his friendship with Donald Trump into a role as informal adviser for the presidential hopeful, even sitting in on debate prep for the candidate in his face-offs with Hillary Clinton. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Showtime's Fox News series launches with 10 major Roger Ailes talking points," 1 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Everyone shows up for a parlay, and when Jon does his show-and-tell bit with the wight, Cersei pretends to be properly spooked. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "This Is How Season 7 of 'Game of Thrones' Ended," 13 Apr. 2019 Throughout the storyline, attempts at peacemaking, cooperation, and parlays are met again and again with bloodshed, betrayal, and cyclical violence. Aja Romano, Vox, "In the era of Trump and apocalyptic change, Hopepunk is a storytelling template for #resistance — and hanging onto your humanity at all costs.," 27 Dec. 2018 Right after the presidents’ dinnertime parlay, Chinese officials said the two sides agreed to put tariffs in abeyance to negotiate a settlement but offered few other details then and in the days since. WSJ, "China Breaks Its Silence on 90-Day U.S. Tariff Truce," 5 Dec. 2018 In 2005, a bill winding down Sports Action was passed, and the last parlays were bet in 2007. Andrew Greif, OregonLive.com, "Among Oregon athletic directors, sports betting's potential return sparks hope and concern," 24 May 2018 Johnson, 41, wanted a two-team parlay with the A’s and White Sox. Ed Barkowitz, Philly.com, "Crazy day at Atlantic City sportsbook as Mark Wahlberg bets the Eagles, Patriots and … Browns," 28 June 2018 Delaware has offered limited NFL parlay wagering since 2009. Ed Barkowitz, Philly.com, "Why haven't Pa. casinos filed for sports-betting permission yet? Could be 10 million reasons," 4 June 2018 Delaware has offered parlay NFL wagering via partial exemption under PASAP for about a decade. A.j. Perez, USA TODAY, "Ready to wager? Head to Delaware, which becomes first new state to offer betting Tuesday," 31 May 2018 In Delaware, that was a very niche product of parlay-style wagering on N.F.L. football, Ms. Slane said. New York Times, "Delaware Kicks Off Full-Scale Sports Betting, a First Outside of Nevada," 5 June 2018

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

Verb

1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1904, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for parlay

Verb

French paroli, noun, parlay, from Italian dialect, plural of parolo, perhaps from paro equal, from Latin par

Noun

derivative of parlay entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near parlay

parlando

parlatoria

parlatory

parlay

parle

parley

Parley

Statistics for parlay

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for parlay

The first known use of parlay was in 1828

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More Definitions for parlay

parlay

verb

English Language Learners Definition of parlay

US : to use or develop (something) to get something else that has greater value

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More from Merriam-Webster on parlay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with parlay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for parlay

Britannica English: Translation of parlay for Arabic Speakers

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