parlous

play
adjective par·lous \ˈpär-ləs\

Definition of parlous

  1. 1 obsolete :  dangerously shrewd or cunning

  2. 2 :  full of danger or risk

parlously

adverb

parlous was our Word of the Day on 02/16/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of parlous in a Sentence

  1. The company is in a parlous financial situation.

  2. He talked about the parlous state of the country.

Recent Examples of parlous from the Web

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


PARLOUS Defined for English Language Learners

parlous

play
adjective

Definition of parlous for English Language Learners

  • : full of danger or risk



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