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 Rolling Stone hopes to parlay its music cred into a slate of events that will appeal to ticket-buying readers as well the larger music industry business. Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, WSJ, "Cardi B, Live Events, Fewer Issues: Meet the New Rolling Stone," 2 July 2018 Carle was steady as Chris Pronger’s partner, so at least the Flyers parlayed Eminger into something positive. Sam Carchidi, Philly.com, "Flyers, Ron Hextall can learn from Capitals' success in Stanley Cup Finals win | Sam Carchidi," 8 June 2018 Consider parlaying Oklahoma to win with a few of your other favorite bets this weekend. Marcus Mosher, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Oklahoma Sooners at UCLA Bruins odds, picks and best bets," 13 Sep. 2019 The Broncos entertained their homecoming crowd with a 38-0 thrashing of Point Loma in a nonleague affair Friday night as Rancho Bernardo parlayed three Pointers turnovers into scores. Rick Hoff, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rancho Bernardo back in groove with win over Pointers," 13 Sep. 2019 Person, who was in financial trouble at the time, accepted $91,500 in bribes to parlay his relationships with top players to steer them to a financial adviser, federal prosecutors said. Washington Post, "Former Auburn assistant basketball coach avoids prison," 17 July 2019 Wolford parlayed an opportunity in the defunct Alliance of American Football into a role with the Rams and passed for three touchdowns during the preseason. Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, "John Wolford and Dakota Allen among players signed to Rams’ practice squad," 1 Sep. 2019 The Housewives are also known for their original music, parlaying reality TV fame into musical superstardom … with mixed success. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "The Definitive Ranking of Every Single Real Housewives Song," 5 Aug. 2019 The next season the Cubs finished third with a team that parlayed a wild-card berth all the way to National League Championship Series, and their average rating rose 120% to 3.1. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "White Sox’s TV ratings — best in 5 years — similar to what the Cubs enjoyed before their World Series climb," 9 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Jones put down a $5 wager for the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl, The News Guard reports, to kick off the first legal sports wagering in the state since 2007, when the NFL parlay game Sports Action ended an 18-year run. oregonlive.com, "Legal sports betting begins in Oregon as Chinook Winds Casino opens wagering lounge," 27 Aug. 2019 There will be three ways to wager: Single-game bets, parlays and in-game wagering. oregonlive.com, "Canzano: Oregon Lottery poised to launch live sports book... soon," 16 Aug. 2019 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

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

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for parlay

The first known use of parlay was in 1828

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More Definitions for parlay

parlay

verb
How to pronounce parlay (audio) How to pronounce parlay (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of parlay

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

More from Merriam-Webster on parlay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for parlay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with parlay

Britannica English: Translation of parlay for Arabic Speakers

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