1 : to bet in a parlay
2 a : to exploit successfully
b : to increase or otherwise transform into something of much greater value
Did You Know?
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 confer." Although the spellings are very close, "parley" comes from the Latin word for "speech."
Test Your Memory: Our featured word on September 6 was "paranymph." It means ...
The young actor parlayed his popularity as a teen heartthrob into a successful film career.
"By combining on-the-job training with a willingness to learn new skills and take on additional work, analysts say, ambitious workers can parlay lower-level jobs into high-powered careers." -- From an article by Katie Johnston in The Boston Globe, September 12, 2010
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