Definition of parlous
1 obsolete : dangerously shrewd or cunning
2 : full of danger or risk
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Examples of parlous in a Sentence
The company is in a parlous financial situation.
He talked about the parlous state of the country.
Recent Examples of parlous from the Web
WHO is in a parlous state WHO is no longer the sole leader in global health.
Despite everyone’s best efforts to shut out the world beyond New York Fashion Week: Men’s, a unifying theme emerged: the parlous state of current politics.
The leap Grasson wants to make is especially parlous.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parlous'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Parlous is both a synonym and a derivative of "perilous"; it came to be as an alteration of "perilous" in Middle English. ("Perilous" is derived from the Anglo-French perilleus, which ultimately comes from the Latin word for "danger": "periculum.") Both words are documented in use from at least the 14th century, but by the 17th century "parlous" had slipped from common use and was considered more or less archaic. It experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 20th century (although some critics still regarded it as an archaic affectation), and today it appears in fairly common use, often modifying "state" or "times."
Origin and Etymology of parlous
Middle English, alteration of perilous
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
PARLOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of parlous for English Language Learners
: full of danger or risk
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