1 : a long discussion or meeting usually between persons of different cultures or levels of sophistication
2 a : idle talk
b : misleading or beguiling speech
Did You Know?
During the 18th century, Portuguese and English sailors often met during trading trips along the West African coast. This contact prompted the English to borrow the Portuguese palavra, which usually means "speech" or "word" but was used by Portuguese traders with the specific meaning "discussions with natives." The Portuguese word traces back to the Late Latin parabola, a noun meaning "speech" or "parable," which in turn comes from the Greek parabolē, meaning "juxtaposition" or "comparison."
"I don't know how you can stand to listen to that palaver," said Rachel, as she switched off the talk show her brother had been listening to on the radio.
"The violinist Geoff Nuttall now directs the series, with a more contemporary sensibility in both programming and in the often corny introductory palaver carried over from the Wadsworth era." - James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, June 4, 2014
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
What synonym of palaver can mean "idle talk" or "a high inside pitch in baseball"? The answer is …
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