parlay

verb
par·​lay | \ ˈpär-ˌlā, -lē \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

There's no way to parlay that to a successful presidential campaign, but. Fox News, "The unhinged left," 8 Aug. 2018 Give him more credit for parlaying seven NFL starts into a four-year, $72 million deal in Houston shortly thereafter. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Ranking NFL's second-round QBs since 2000: Is Christian Hackenberg biggest bust?," 14 June 2018 While the attempt to expand sports betting failed, the 2009 legislation and the state's experience offering NFL parlay betting over the past several years meant the infrastructure for full-scale betting was already in place. Randall Chase, Houston Chronicle, "Delaware casinos to begin sports betting next week," 31 May 2018 Other UConn coaches/players to parlay their success at UConn into head coaching jobs include Jamelle Elliott (Cincinnati), Tonya Cardoza (Temple), Carla Berube (Tufts) and Jen Rizzotti (Hartford, George Washington). Mike Anthony, courant.com, "UConn Assistant Marisa Moseley Named Coach At Boston University, Her Alma Mater," 17 Apr. 2018 This is a pretty impressively sweeping law, the result of grassroots efforts that have parlayed wide public support for marijuana legalization into legislative action. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Marijuana Initiatives in the Midterms That Could Change Everything," 27 Sep. 2018 The question for the general election is whether Abrams can parlay her support to hold down likely losses in North Georgia and capture some of the Atlanta exurbs. BostonGlobe.com, "5 takeaways from Tuesday’s primary elections," 24 May 2018 Brandi Glanville Brandi Glanville was able to parlay heartbreak into notoriety after her husband left her for Leann Rimes. Diana Falzone, Fox News, "6 celebrity attention seekers," 8 Aug. 2016 Martz has parlayed her love for football into a successful national powerlifting career. Jayda Evans, The Seattle Times, "A battle for respect, then in the trenches: For Newport’s Jenna Martz, football is feminism," 26 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Geisenberger notes, however, that while the average net take on parlay football bets has been about 25 percent, the average win on head-to-head, single-game bets is about five or six percent. Randall Chase, Houston Chronicle, "Delaware casinos to begin sports betting next week," 31 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about parlay

Listen to Our Podcast about parlay

Dictionary Entries near parlay

parlando

parlatoria

parlatory

parlay

parle

parley

Parley

Statistics for parlay

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for parlay

The first known use of parlay was in 1828

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for parlay

parlay

verb

English Language Learners Definition of parlay

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on parlay

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

WORD OF THE DAY

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!