par·​lor | \ˈpär-lər \

Definition of parlor 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a room used primarily for conversation or the reception of guests: such as

a : a room in a private dwelling for the entertainment of guests

b : a conference chamber or private reception room

c : a room in an inn, hotel, or club for conversation or semiprivate uses

2 : any of various business places a funeral parlor a beauty parlor



Definition of parlor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : used in or suitable for a parlor parlor furniture

2a : fostered or advocated in comfortable seclusion without consequent action or application to affairs parlor bolshevism

b : given to or characterized by fostering or advocating something (such as a doctrine) in such a manner parlor socialist

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Synonyms for parlor

Synonyms: Noun

establishment, joint, place, salon

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Examples of parlor in a Sentence


an ice cream parlor with an old-timey theme

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tattoo parlors around the world have turned Friday the 13th (which can occur one to three times a year) into a chance to get inked for cheap. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Get lucky with a Friday the 13th tattoo," 11 Apr. 2018 Manhattan’s most exclusive monthly poker game isn’t played in the boardrooms and back parlors of Wall Street’s power brokers, but rather in the living and dining rooms of some of the city’s most accomplished women. Jennifer Fernandez, ELLE Decor, "Here's Why Playing Poker Is The Best Way To Spend Your Next Ladies Night," 2 Apr. 2018 Gwinnett Commissioners voted recently to renew a special use permit for a tattoo and body piercing parlor in the 1000 block of Duluth Highway between McKendree Church Road and Parkside Walk Lane in unincorporated Lawrenceville. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Gwinnett commissioners renew Lawrenceville tattoo parlor permit," 7 Feb. 2018 Tattoo parlors are featured in reality shows, and the industry holds conventions all around the world. Lexie Schapitl, Vox, "Tattooing is an ancient art form that’s more popular than ever," 1 Aug. 2018 The room, which echoes the conservatory’s shape and connects to the parlor floor, has a quartzite island, basalt floor tiles and a gleaming, 1970s-style arc lamp. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "Clinton Hill Mansion With a Rock ’n’ Roll History," 8 June 2018 Creamistry Watch your ice cream go from liquid to solid in seconds at this dessert parlor. Jennifer Mcclellan, azcentral, "31 new restaurants opened in Phoenix in April, chains and independents," 1 May 2018 Taking his name from his paternal grandmother, who ran an after-hours gambling parlor, Carter dropped out of Western Michigan University following his freshman year to intern in Nike’s basketball sports marketing department. Alex Bhattacharji, WSJ, "A Day in the Life of Maverick Carter," 12 Sep. 2018 But if a reason is a must, then celebrating National Ice Cream Day is the answer. Sunday, July 15, marks the annual holiday, and several Louisville parlors are getting in on the fun with discounts on scoops, cones and shakes. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "Celebrate National Ice Cream Day with deals at these Louisville shops," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Kyle Green Parlor bird cage at the Jones/Eld house in East Boise. Anna Webb, idahostatesman, "A 1893 house — rescued — settles into its new East Boise neighborhood," 14 Apr. 2017

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for parlor


Middle English parlour, from Anglo-French, from parler

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Statistics for parlor

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for parlor

The first known use of parlor was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for parlor



English Language Learners Definition of parlor

: a store or business that sells a specified kind of food or service

: a room in a house or apartment that is used for conversation or for spending time with guests


par·​lor | \ˈpär-lər \

Kids Definition of parlor

1 : a room for receiving guests and for conversation

2 : a usually small place of business beauty parlor ice cream parlor

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More from Merriam-Webster on parlor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with parlor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for parlor

Spanish Central: Translation of parlor

Nglish: Translation of parlor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of parlor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on parlor

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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